On Monday, creatives from an ad agency leaked online showing women (and men) bound and gagged in the trunks of Ford cars. It was probably intended to be funny. For example, the ad showing Paris Hilton at the wheel of a car with her successors, the Kardashian sisters, in the trunk (Kim’s in a bikini and Khloe is gagged with a ballgag).
The tagline is “leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.”
It comes off as promoting violence. Another example, this ad shows disgraced former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with distressed-looking, suggestively-dressed women in his trunk.
Another ad shows Formula One driver Michael Schumacher with Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, and Fernando Alonso in his trunk.
It appears the ads were never used and were never meant to be seen, but Ford apologised anyway.
The ads were the work of Ford’s go-to agency JWT (one of whose staff uploaded the ad online). JWT’s parent company, WPP Group, issued an apology: “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 also issued an apology: “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.”
The Kardashians have responded to the ad featuring them. They’re not pleased.
In a statement obtained by omg! INSIDER from the family’s attorney, they said: ‘The “leave your worries behind” Ford ads are disgusting, vile and offensive to all women. It is unacceptable that Ford would align itself with an ad agency that would so carelessly release these ads. The Kardashians do not take this lightly and they are exploring all of their legal options.”