It’s the Winter Olympics in Sochi, in Russia, next month (often a recipe for disaster – remember when it didn’t snow north of Vancouver?) and this year the Games look likely to be even more fraught, with opponents of the Russian empire in the Caucasus setting off lethal bombs in Volgograd and, possibly, worse to come.
So you’d hardly expect Procter & Gamble to be in there batting for Russian president Vladimir Putin (Vlad the Impaler’s even more bad-tempered namesake) would you?
But they kind of are: being an Olympic sponsor and all that.
P&G’s Olympics pitch, unveiled at London 2012, is ‘Proud Sponsors of Moms,’ and you can’t get much more American and apple pie than that. If it has to be Sochi, so be it – and bugger the CIA.
And agency Wieden+Kennedy in Portland (which seems to have abandoned the Christmas holidays to toil on P&G) has, amazingly, produced a charming campaign for this contentious event – ‘Falling only makes us stronger’ – ‘cos people fall over a lot pursuing winter sports.
Client and agency will get a lot of stick no doubt – Russia in all its guises, maybe even Michael Schumacher’s ski-ing accident (although they wouldn’t have known about that at the time).
But agencies are advocates aren’t they, just like barristers? Well not quite – but W+K does a bloody good job for P&G, and a sponsorship it could probably do without.