Most Inappropriate Ad of the Year?

Ford’s India subsidiary is targeting a unique demographic: serial killers.

A new series of magazine ads from the automaker highlights the cavernous trunk space in the new Figo hatchback by showing a trio of bound and gagged young women stuffed inside. Autoblog notes that,

Clearly in bad taste, at least, the Indian source also questions the timing of these risqué Ford ads, as they follow by days new anti-rape legislation passed by the Indian Parliament.

Apparently the Figo isn’t just unsafe for the women trapped in the vehicle’s trunk, though. According to Indian car rating website, the export-model hatchback doesn’t come equipped with standard airbags so it may be a death-defying ride for anyone … whether they’re traveling in it willingly or otherwise.

31 Comments on "Most Inappropriate Ad of the Year?"

  1. David Duke-Astin | Mar 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

    Ford has apologized and stated that the ads never should have happened. Exactly what is the process by which one of these 3 paintings (representing hours of work) goes through printing, processing and publishing before they realize they’ve got a problem. This is the result of teamwork from some of the most important professionals in their industry. Doesn’t someone sign off on this shit?

  2. Actually the ad depicts former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi trying to get away with his sex scandals. We had quite a laugh in Italy when we saw this.

  3. Hadrian999 | Mar 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm |

    several of my female friends think that is funny as all hell

    • bobbiethejean | Mar 25, 2013 at 10:23 pm |

      Several of my male friends don’t. Maybe they’re just too stuck up when it comes to rape jokes and abuse.

  4. BuzzCoastin | Mar 25, 2013 at 9:30 pm |

    that ad reflects what Indians see when they view Western ads
    they can’t distinguish between our subtleties of expression
    if Lady Gaga was in the trunk (boot) in Der Homeland
    would anyone notice, would anyone care?

    when developing countries create advertising
    without western supervision
    they generally copy it the way they perceive it
    and from their point of view
    it’s all Lady Gag-gag & porn

    • I recommend you read Victor Pelevin’s “Babylon”. I think that would be right up your street, Buzz.

      • BuzzCoastin | Mar 26, 2013 at 6:09 am |

        thanks, I’ll check it
        the reviews seem to indicate that I’d like it
        however, I was a corporate sales & marketing executive
        so I doubt he could shock me, but I might get a laugh or two

        • If you managed to escape from corporate sales you will laugh double hard.

          • BuzzCoastin | Mar 26, 2013 at 6:27 am |

            oh yeah, I bailed on that scene a long time ago now
            now I just take pot shots at it from the sidelines

            most people are truly clueless as to how that stuff works
            which is probably why it works so well

          • Now I know, you will like Pelevin

          • BuzzCoastin | Mar 26, 2013 at 7:36 am |

            “Of course, you don’t turn into a shit just because you buy a Mercedes-600. It’s the other way round: the reason you can afford to buy a Mercedes-600 is that you turn into a shit.”

            I think the BMW owners are far worse.

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm |

            i swore off nazi and imperial japanese brands myself;)

    • BuzzCoastin | Mar 26, 2013 at 6:14 am |

      I might add this observation
      it’s hard for me to believe, having work for many international companies in marketing
      that that ad squeaked through corporate review
      there’s something seriously wrong with Ford’s corporate oversight of their ads
      or this wasn’t a mistake

    • Liam_McGonagle | Mar 26, 2013 at 10:32 am |

      I’m not sure I disagree with what you’ve said, necessarily, but I think there’s an additional observation to be made here: Indian society has misogyny problems of their own. Always has.

      An obvious conversation ender would be for me to mention how shockingly recent (1829) that Sati (the ritual live immolation of a man’s widow) has been banned. That’s like comparing someone to Hitler, and would normally mean the conversation had ended before I’d even opened my mouth.

      But it’s not really quite the same. Even if it’s illegal, Sati is still occassionally practiced–the most recent reference I could find was in 1999. And it seems you couldn’t pick up a news story about India in the past few months without hearing about young girls dying from brutal gang rapes occurring on public conveniences or foreigners subjected to brutal thrashings and violation.

      What you say is perfectly true that other cultures don’t quite get our western combination of exhibitionism and moral indignation towards rape. To some extent the old ‘honor’ ethics prevail overseas, whereby certain classes of individual are fair game for horrific types of abuse that they would never tolerate against their own kindred.

      My sense is that, to many of these other cultures, such exhibitionist behavior marks a person as ‘fair game’.

      Western culture is shallow and stupid. But most of the alternatives are as bad or worse.

      • BuzzCoastin | Mar 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm |

        name a Kuntery that’s not misogynistic
        sex is used to sell Bling-Bling everywhere
        Homeland inspired porn ads only add to it

        India only seems more misogynistic because
        you are used to your version of misogyny
        which is perfectly acceptable in your culture

        • no liam you’re not thinking. as a woman, i identified with the gagged bound women. i felt like vomiting. my boyfriend said ,hey don’t lose any sleep over it. i am being radicalized, i feel like retaliation against the erect penis, but that(i guess) is not the answer. sad eyed lady of the lowlands, WHO AMONG THEM DO YOU THINK COULD DESTROY YOU. whatever means and mode women (and men, i guess) will elevate the world’s consciousness! or we can cut their dicks off

          • BuzzCoastin | Mar 27, 2013 at 1:33 am |

            four things:
            one, I’m not liam
            two, these images are in the same vein as Lady Gag-Gag & Madonna
            three, are you bobbiethejean in disguise?
            four, was there a point to that rant?

        • Liam_McGonagle | Mar 27, 2013 at 9:20 am |

          You need to back up a bit.

          I never said misogyny was acceptable to me. Don’t put words in my mouth.

          It’s pretty clear you haven’t read me carefully at all, so I guess I should suspend getting p*ssed off at, what appears to me, the insulting and nonsensicle tenor of your response.

          • BuzzCoastin | Mar 27, 2013 at 9:29 am |

            nothing personal intended
            it would be fair to acknowledge that misogyny
            is not exclusive to Indian culture
            since in fact
            this ad is a characteristic of Western misogynistic culture
            as they perceive it

          • Liam_McGonagle | Mar 27, 2013 at 9:54 am |

            ” . . . which is perfectly acdeptable in your culture.”

            Seemd pretty personal to me.

            It also totally ignores my statement

            ” Western culture is shallow and stupid . . . ”

            Rape is without a doubt a horrible crime. But burning women alive? Let’s get real here, there are real differences between cultures, even if most of the time it boils down to the difference between sh*t and mud.

            The West isn’t the font of everything evil. Indian people weren’t just a blank slate waiting for the white man to come and tell them what to think. They have millenia of their own culture and traditions, many of which are worse than our own.

          • BuzzCoastin | Mar 27, 2013 at 10:05 am |

            The West isn’t the font of everything evil. Indian people weren’t just a blank slate waiting for the white man to come and tell them what to think.

            I assume you’re Irish & not English
            but considering what the English did to India
            and the effects that continue to impact their culture
            like this Ford ad
            I’m willing to give them a pass on this
            and poking a Westerner in the eye in the process
            seems fair to me

          • Liam_McGonagle | Mar 27, 2013 at 10:28 am |

            Burning people alive is wrong no matter where your ancestors came from.

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 27, 2013 at 11:17 am |

            the enlightened west stoned, and burned many women during many points of the first 500 years of empire.

            and anglo scholars have long linked the ‘western tradition’ to indo-aryan beginnings,

            not to mention india, culturally is not homogeneous. and misogyny and for that matter feminism is not homogenous and must be interpreted specifically to circumstance and history.

          • Liam_McGonagle | Mar 28, 2013 at 10:31 am |

            What’s important are trans cultural human values. Setting up a false monolithic ‘West’ and romanticising an ‘Englightened East’ is little better than ‘Democrat’ vs. ‘Republican’ in my book.
            We all know damned well why people do horrible things: it’s a shortcut. I no longer find excuses as interesting as solutions.

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 28, 2013 at 5:51 pm |

            i have no patience for the east vs west ‘dichotomy’ (see pop culture myth), it’s racist and founded on false epistemological principles.

            i’ve never been much of an orientalist, being a trans cultural product myself- neither do i romanticise not exoticise.

            trans-cultural values cannot stem from western hegemonic princples which inherently attempt to marginalise and dominate indigenous paradigms and knowledges.

            universal truth may exist, but i’ve yet to see it practiced holistically, in respect and response to historical and cultural context.

          • BuzzCoastin | Mar 27, 2013 at 6:27 pm |

            yup, we agree on that
            my comments weren’t intend to offend you in particular
            my general rule of thumb is:
            people who live in glass cultures shouldn’t through stones
            because I’m gonna throw them right back

  5. artist is definitely a breast man (or woman)

  6. What is the matter with men of India? Maybe we, USA, should stop giving them our jobs! That’ll get them to sit up straight and behave.

  7. On the wall behind Hitlers desk was a picture of an anti-semite protocols of zion non human Henry Ford. So is this a shock coming out non humans at Ford? I think not.

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