Fake local print ads were produced by [two rogue employees at] McCann Erickson India – without the knowledge, approval or consent of Hanesbrands Inc. – solely for the purpose of entry into creative competitions. These fake ads were wholly inconsistent with the interest of the Hanes brand, would never have been approved had [McCann’s] our internal procedures been followed and, accordingly, should never have been publicly distributed.
We have apologized to Hanesbrands for developing this objectionable work, which uses hateful language. We extend our apologies to those who these fake ads have offended, as well as to Hanesbrands’ customers and business partners.
The ads in question were developed and run locally, without the knowledge of anyone at IPG, or of McCann’s global [or country] management. The ads appeared once in a small publication in Mumbai in late 2007 so as to qualify for consideration in award competitions and were recently posted by local Indian employees at McCann onto two web sites that display international advertising campaigns. We have identified the circumstances that led to this violation of our policies and of our trust and we are taking immediate corrective action. [The creative team that was responsible has left the agency and we are taking action to ensure this cannot happen again.]