Ford apologizes for offensive “Berlusconi” Figo ads
A print ad used to promote the Ford Figo compact car in India is causing controversy among people who say it is offensive, distasteful and misogynistic. Indeed, the pitch has drawn so much fire that Ford Motor Co. has apologized for it.
The ad features a caricature of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the wheel of a Figo with three women bound and gagged in the car’s cargo bay. The Figo is known for its luggage capacity and Ford’s tagline for the car is, “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.”
“We deeply regret this incident and agree with our agency partners that it should have never happened,” Ford said in a statement. “The posters are contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford and our agency partners.”
The Berlusconi ad is one in a trio of similarly styled ads that serve as examples of how advertising can approach, push, and violate the limits of public acceptance.
One of the other ads – which I found the least-creepy — shows caricature of Formula One driving ace Michael Schumacher with three rivals, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, stuffed in the trunk.
In real life Schumacher is an aging ex-champion whose days of dominating the sport are behind him, largely because of the three younger drivers in the picture. Racing fans could get a laugh from it, though some people take offense at the very idea of tying people up and putting them in the trunk of a car.
Also of note: the hostage drivers’ mouths are tapes, but the women in the Berlusconi ad are gagged.
Another ad shows a Paris Hilton-like character hauling what appear to be the Kardashian sisters in the trunk. Again, we have an arguably washed-up figure trying to get rid of the competition. The grotesque style in which the people are drawn makes the Kardashian ad seem a bit more cringe-worthy.
what can you say?
who gave this advertising the go ahead?..any publicity is good publicity?
and they wonder why we have sick fuckers running around with evil ideas..
look at the huge cartoon breasts!..SMH