Last week, Ford experienced an unexpected PR disaster when creatives at JWT India — the Ford Figo’s agency of record — released an unauthorized ad on the internet that shows Silvio Berlusconi tying up and gagging scantily clad women in the (albeit spacious) trunk of his car.
Ford isn’t the only major company that has had to answer for a controversial ad it never wanted to go public.
A series of Pepsi ads in Dusseldorf showed graphic images of a personified calorie committing suicide in various violent ways. The World Wildlife Foundation had to apologize when DDB Brazil created ads in which dozens of planes were shown flying at the World Trade Towers with the text, “The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11.” WWF said it never approved the ads even though they were submitted to various ad award ceremonies.
FORD: A team from JWT India posted an ad for the Ford Figo (in which Silvio Berlusconi ties up and gags crying women in the trunk of his car) on Ads of the World. It wasn’t meant to be distributed.
There was also an ad with a winking Paris Hilton getting ready to dispose of the scantily clad Kardashians, her reality television competition. Both WPP Group and Ford apologized.
OREO: Cheil Worldwide in Korea posted this “Milk’s Favorite Cookie” poster in 2012 on Ads of the World. It incited positive and negative backlash. Kraft USA issued a statement that it never ran and “was created by our agency for a one-time use at an advertising forum.”