|The Kardashian sisters bound and gagged with Paris Hilton driving.|
After online outcry, Ford and its Indian advertising agency have apologized for ads showing women bound and gagged in the back of a Ford Figo and admitted that they should never have been created at all.
One of the ads for the Ford Figo subcompact car is the one above showing caricatures Paris Hilton winking while the Kardashian sisters are gagged and bound in the back of the Figo. The other ad shows a different set of three scantily clad women gagged, bound, and crammed into the back of the Figo while Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi looks back from the front seat, smiling and giving the "peace sign."
The tag line at the bottom of both ads says, "Leave Your Worries Behind." IMO, the ads do not showcase this tagline at all. Instead they are offensive to women on so many levels. And to think this is happening in India barely weeks after tourists had been either raped or been victims of attempted rape. Let's not even forget the young lady that died last year after viciously being gang raped.
It seems a young someone at the ad agency was simply having fun with their creativity, they posted the pictures to website "Ads of the World" without approval. Though it has since been removed, anything posted to the internet gets a life of it's own. The damage was done.
Most of social media was up in arms about the ads and Ford had to issue a public apology.
Ford released a statement to CNBC apologizing for the ads:
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 ad agency WPP also apologized via Busines Insider:
We deeply regret the publishing of posters that were distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within WPP Group. These posters 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.
Seriously, this is part of a growing curve for even myself. First off, you may just see the funny pop culture aspect of the ads, but then, it is images like this that put some strange thoughts in some more impressionable minds, or those that may not be as innocent as you and me.
The lesson for me is that we have to step up in the way we allow ourselves to be portrayed and treated. And when we see something wrong, we can speak out, because our voices can be heard, and it can make a difference. It was the outcry that led to a Ford apology, and you can be sure their employees and ad agencies know better, and will think twice before they disparage women in their creatives going forward.