“Shock Marketing” Ford and their Ad Agency WPP apologize for offensive creative for the Ford Figo, available in India

Sex has often been used to sell cars. The quintessential message has been “look at me in my sexy car, don’t you want to get with me?” It’s a hard sell for a compact car. So, Ford’s ad agency, WPP went for kidnapping, kink and misogyny. Should we expect to see more and more shock marketing from advertisers desperate to “go viral” in the social world? Now that they have, only Ford’s customers can decide if the risk is worth the reward.

What went down with Ford Figo and WPP?

As part of the creative process, Ford’s ad agency, WPP tried a few creative executions that were “not meant to published” as part of a “paid campaign” for the new Ford Figo car available in India.

This advert shows Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister of Italy and candidate in the current campaign, giving the “V” for Victory sign from behind the wheel of a Ford Figo with three tied-up women in the back.

Ford Figo, WPP Ad Campaign









This other image depicts Paris Hilton at the wheel of a Ford Figo with the Kardashian family tied up in the back.

Ford Figo with Paris Hilton









A third image shows three male race-car drivers tied up in the back of a Ford Figo.

Ford Figo Racecard Drivers









Ford said: “We deeply regret this incident and agree with our agency partners that it should have never happened,” said Ford, in a prepared statement. “The posters are contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford and our agency partners.”

WPP also released a statement saying that it “deeply regret[s]” the existence of the “distasteful” posters.

Would you fire the Account Director at WPP for this one? Leave your comments!


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