Ford’s Indian unit crossed the line with a couple of print advertisements for the Ford Figo, featuring Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Paris Hilton and the Kardashian sisters.
Both ads were aimed at showcasing the model’s ample trunk. In one of the ads Berlusconi is in the front seat with his fingers posed in the well-known victory sign, while bound women are crying in the trunk. The tag line reads: “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.” This couldn’t have been a worse moment to release this ad, as recently the court found Berlusconi guilty of breach of confidentiality in a wiretap case, while he still awaits trial in a sex-for-hire case.
Another ad shows pop star Paris Hilton winking, while she drivers the Figo with the Kardashian sisters, her reality-show rivals, tied up in the trunk. The ads were criticized as ‘tasteless’ and as the “worst Ford ad ever.” Ford announced that the ads were not approved by the automaker and that they are “contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford.”
“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,” said Ford in an e-mail sent to Business Insider.