Autogyaan: Ford India In The Soup Over Sexist Figo Ads
Ford India has landed itself in a tricky spot after controversial advertisements of the Figo made their way on to the internet last week. The advertisements, reportedly made by the creative team at the Indian arm of advertising giant, JWT, emphasize on the boot space offered by the Figo, but are taking serious heat for being sexist and distasteful.
In one of the commercials, the infamous former Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi is shown grinning in the driver’s seat as three skimpily clad women are shown bound and gagged stuffed into the boot. In another version, we see Paris Hilton similarly kidnapping fellow millionaire socialites, the Kardashian sisters. There’s a third, comparatively less offensive version, with Michael Schumacher having managed to fit Sebastien Vettel, Lewis Hamilton & Fernando Alonso in the Ford Figo’s boot. All three commercials feature the tagline, ‘Leave Your Worries Behind’.
The timing of the ads is especially poor, with the recent uproar in the nation over stronger anti-rape laws, and the parliament’s recently passed anti-rape legislation on everyone’s mind. Since a large number of India’s masses might not identify Berlusconi, Hilton or the Kardashians, JWT India’s attempt at black humor may backfire and evoke a strong reaction towards Ford India and the Figo.
Ford India has since apologized, in the form of the statement given to NBC
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.
If they keep up with such risky tactics, it might be a little while before Ford India leaves its worries behind.