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Agency condemns its Falkland ad

A controversial Argentinian television advert showing an Olympic hopeful training on a British war memorial in the Falklands has been condemned by the agency behind it.

Young & Rubicam 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".

The WPP-owned firm said in a statement: "We are deeply regretful for the pain this ad has caused and apologise to the many who have been rightly disturbed by it, as have we."

The provocative 90-second clip says the athlete is preparing for London 2012 on "Argentine soil".

It shows Argentina hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg 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 War.

The advert, reportedly bought by the government and broadcast on Wednesday 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."

A spokesman for Young & Rubicam said: "It has come to our attention that our agency in Argentina created an ad for the Argentine government that has deeply offended many people in the UK and around the world. We strongly condemn this work and have asked the Argentine government to pull the spot.

"While we don't believe it was ever the intention of the ad's creators to desecrate a war memorial, they behaved in a manner that is unacceptable to our company. Furthermore it is against our policy to be involved in anything that is politically motivated. In addition, this spot was also offensive to the Olympics spirit.

"Whatever it was the creators set out to highlight, what they produced is contrary to everything that we as a company stand for."

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