Ford and its ad agency issued apologies for a tasteless Ford Figo ad — in which former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi is shown with a bunch of gagged and crying women in the trunk of his car — that was never meant to see the light of day.
The ads came during a period in which the country was rocked by several gang rapes, sparking women's rights protests.
I t turns out a young creative team at JWT India, Ford Figo's agency of record, made the spot and posted it to website Ads of the World without approval. (It has since been removed.)
Even though the ad never ran in paid media, once something's on the internet, the damage has been done.
WPP Group, which holds JWT, told Business Insider:
"We deeply regret the publishing of posters that were distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within WPP Group. These were never intended for paid publication and should never have been created, let alone uploaded to the internet. This was the result of individuals acting without proper oversight and appropriate actions have been taken within the agency where they work to deal with the situation.”
Ford issued an apology for the ad as well, emailing BI, “We deeply regret this incident and agree with our agency partners that it should have never happened. The posters are contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford and our agency partners. Together with our partners, we are reviewing approval and oversight processes to help ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”
Here is a bigger image of the Ford Figo ad that no one was supposed to see. The tag line is "Leave your worries behind with Figo's extra-large boot," referring to Berlusconi's many affairs and bunga bunga parties.
Here's another that shows Paris Hilton with her captured, reality television competition: the Kardashians. Kim is displayed in lingerie.
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