Ford India In Hot Water For Controversial Berlusconi, Kardashian Ads

Category: Companies / Mar 26, 2013 4:26PM EDT
A controversial ad showing women bound and gagged in the trunk of a Ford Figo with disgraced former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi at the wheel has caused international outrage. Ford India has apologized and said that the ads, uploaded on an industry website, were created by individuals within JWT India, a unit of the world's biggest advertising group WPP. They did not go through the normal review and oversight process. The Kardashian sisters are also seeking legal action after their images appeared in the back of a Ford Figo tied up and gagged, with Paris Hilton at the wheel. India's 'Image Guru' said in New Delhi on Tuesday (March 26) that the nature of the humor in the adverts is badly timed. He added that the nuance of the ads would never play out well to an Indian market. "I think its central thematic was humour to show space and I think it erred pretty badly in terms of what kind of humour and its timing as far as India is concerned and as far as the world is concerned," said Dilip Cherian. "India is not a market where non-ethnic kind of humour plays quite correctly and the second is you always have to understand the nuance and this is something that we at Perfect Relations are extremely careful of in dealing with our 200 clients; is understand the nuance of the moment. Things shift every week, every day and sometimes in the day, so you've got to understand what values play out and what values never play out. This bunch of values would never play out," Cherian added. Small family cars such as the Ford Figo are key to getting a foothold in India's booming automobile market. Ford is already behind in Indian car sales. As for this controversial advertisement, Ford India did not comment on whether it was taking any action against the agency. Video Source: Reuters