That JC Penney commercial, which featured two teens practicing for a naked romp in the basement? The one that won a prize at the Cannes Lions Awards this weekend and spread quickly on the Web yesterday? It was an unauthorized fake, and executives at the department store are royally pissed. "It's obviously inappropriate and nothing we would ever condone," Penney's chief marketing officer told the Wall Street Journal. "We're very disappointed that our logo and brand position were used in that way." Thus began the blame game over who unleashed this mutant sorta-sex tape, one that will seem oh-so-familiar to anyone who recalls, say, the Miley Cyrus incident with Vanity Fair.
Because the spot is so well made, and because someone had to enter it it at Cannes, JC Penney is blaming its ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. The ad agency, in turn, is pointing the finger at production company, Epoch Films of New York, which is indeed the listed entrant. There is speculation "the video may have been filmed after hours by a producer at Epoch who was working on the Penney ads for Saatchi."
Since Penney is based in Plano, Texas and sells to middle-American families that were so outraged to see teen starlet Cyrus in nothing but a bedsheet, a lawsuit, against an individual if not a company, doesn't seem entirely out of the question. On the bright side, some swashbuckling video rebel (every company has one!) just launched a promising career in the awards-obsessed ad industry, albeit at the expense of someone else's brand.
The fake ad in question: