Australian horse society snorts at Saatchi & Saatchi

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Protection Society are engaged in a slanging match over a supposedly bona fide newspaper ad Saatchi created for the society which has now been saddled with a $5,000 newspaper bill.

Saatchi is accused by the society of creating the ad, which ran once in the Sunday Sun-Times, "just to win an advertising award", although it has not yet been entered into any competitions. It is, of course, not unusual for agencies to do public service ads aimed at winning international awards - a situation criticised at Cannes this year.

The full-page hard-hitting ad showed a stark picture of dead wild horses with the caption "Just what the D.O.C. ordered,'' a reference to the government department charged with killing them. To make matters worse, Sandy Kara, the society's secretary, says Saatchi omitted to put a message on a free-call number which would have automatically added a $15 donation to the society which had been told it could "guarantee" to raise at least $15,000.

Saatchi general manager Kruno Ivancic told reporters the omission of the message was Telecom's fault. "It's all a bit Mickey Mouse," he added.

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