September 11 as an advertising theme: it is not a good idea. It's really not. Even if you have a good cause. This ad is for the World Wildlife Fund, though! No. Do not do this, in ads. [Adfreak] UPDATED:

UPDATE: WWF in the US is sending out a statement saying that it finds the ad "apalling" and it's "working to determine whether or not this is a hoax of some sort." It should probably talk to its Israeli office; according to Advertolog:

The advert titled Tsunami was done by DDB BRASIL advertising agency for WWF company in ISRAEL. It was released in the August 2009.

If it does turn out to be an elaborate hoax we'll let you know. Although that seems unlikely!

UPDATE 2: WWF just issued the following statement, saying the ad was a spec ad from an ad agency seeking their business, rather than an ad authorized by WWF. Spec ads generally contain wanton sex, but other forms of wanton bad taste pop up as well, as this episode indicates. The real question here: Why don't ad agencies make it clear that these are spec ads before letting them pop up on ad websites, where bloggers pick them up? Seems sensible. WWF's full statement:

"WWF strongly condemns this offensive and tasteless ad and did not authorize its production or publication. It is our understanding that it was a concept offered by an outside advertising agency seeking our business in Brazil. The concept was summarily rejected by WWF and should never have seen the light of day. It is an unauthorized use of our logo and we are aggressively pursuing action to have it removed from websites where it is being currently featured. We strongly condemn the messages and the images portrayed in this ad. On behalf of WWF, here in the US and around the world, we can promise you this ad does not in any way reflect the thoughts and feelings of the people of our organization."