Argentine Olympian defends provocative Falklands-themed training video
13:15 GMT, 5 May 2012
Argentina's hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg has defended the TV advert which features him training on a Falklands Islands war memorial.
The advert has caused a political storm in Britain and led to British businessman Sir Martin Sorrell condemning his own firm.
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Opening scene: After a caption reading 'Islas Malvinas', the Argentinian name for the Falkand Islands, hockey player Zylberberg is seen stepping out early in the morning for a run
Obvious landmarks: As the advert progresses, Zylberberg can be seen limbering up outside the Globe Tavern, a popular pub in Port Stanley
Passing ALL the sights: As rousing music reaches its eventual peak, Zylberberg jogs past the office of the Penguin News, which today ran quotes from Falkland Islander Ian Hansen criticising the advert
The provocative 90-second advert,
which says the athlete is preparing for London 2012 on 'Argentine soil',
was the brainchild of WPP-owned agency Young & Rubicam (Y&R).
Zylberberg is seen running in the
Falklands capital, Port Stanley, and exercising on the island's Great
War Memorial, which honours British sailors who died in the First World
In an interview with Al Jazeera
English, Olympic hopeful Zylberberg said that the advert was supposed to
convey his country's feeling over the islands.
'The message is that to every
Argentine the islands belong to Argentina. To me to be training in any
other province or to do it over the islands is the same,' he said.
'But when we were there we did not say that we were doing an advertisement but we were not hiding. In fact people helped us.'
Iconic British phone box: There's little doubt over why the advert's makers included this shot in the mix
Pointed message: With the rugged countryside in the background: 'To compete on English soil'
Dramatic pause: The most incendiary comment reads: 'We are training on Argentine soil'
He added that he had been told by the
agency while making the advert there was no buyer and that they would
seek one after it had been made.
He was only told two months later 'there was a chance that the Argentine government could be interested', he said.
Sorrell, the head of communications
giant WPP, branded the television clip 'totally unacceptable' and
professed himself 'appalled and embarrassed'.
Y&R said it had asked the
Argentinian government to pull the spot, accusing its creators of
behaving 'in a manner that is unacceptable to our company'.
Final say: The screen fades to white with the message: 'Tribute to the fallen and ex-combatants'
Y&R's global chief executive
David Sable said it was impossible for the agency to see everything
produced by its branches around the world but stressed that clear
guidelines were in place.
'Our guidelines say you're not
allowed to do anything political or politicised,' he said. 'We don't do
political campaigns and we never have.
'It's just not acceptable and we
condemn it completely, but it's easy to understand the circumstances in
which a local branch thinks 'this is cool' and doesn't think what the
The advert, reportedly bought by the
government and broadcast after being rejected by various companies,
calls the islands by their Argentinian name, the Malvinas, and carries
the tagline: 'To compete on British soil, we train on Argentinian soil.'
It ends with the words: 'Homage to the fallen and the veterans of the Malvinas. Presidency of the Nation.'