A series of inappropriate ads for the Ford Figo recently surfaced online, all of which emphasized the vehicle’s spacious trunk with the tagline “leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.” That may not sound too bad, but each of the ads featured a gleeful celebrity driver with three other people bound and gagged in the back!
In the ad above you can see a winking Paris Hilton staring back from the driver’s seat as sisters Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, and Kim Kardashian (the latter of which in a tiny bikini) are bound with ropes and gagged with tape and a ball gag.
In this next ad disgraced former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi smiles oafishly and gives a peace sign while three suggestively dressed women wrestle with ropes and ball gags — one of which appears to be crying. (Berlusconi had a history with prostitutes, allegedly including nightclub dancer Karima El Mahroug when she was under the age of 18.)
The last ad has an international sports theme and features Formula One driver Michael Schumacher in the front seat with fellow racers Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in their racing uniforms with mouths taped and arms and legs bound with ropes.
The ads were created by the Indian agency JWT, which is the ad agency of record for the Ford Figo according to Business Insider. The ads were never used, and were apparently never meant as legitimate pitches, but someone at JWT uploaded them to the Ads of the World website and the damage was done.
JWT parent company WPP Group has since issued this 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 contacted Business Insider with an apology as well, stating in an email:
“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 horribly offensive ads have probably burned the bridge on what could have been a successful partnership. A Ford Figo ad featuring Kim Kardashian with the slogan “leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot” pretty much writes itself.