By on March 27, 2013

Ad Age is reporting that Ford’s advertising agency, JWT, has fired the ad agency staffers behind a pair of offensive ads showing bound and gagged women in the back of a Ford Figo hatchback. Ford is not, however, looking to change advertising companies over the fiasco. The images were created by JWT staffers in India and then uploaded to the ad agency’s website. Such ads are often created without client approval as a way for ad designers to bolster their portfolios and were never intended to become part of Ford’s official campaign to promote the Figo.

With sexual assaults very much in the news in India the ad could not have been released at a worse tim. One of the images show former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was center of a storm of controversy regarding his alleged sexual adventures, with several women bound and gagged in the back of the car . A similar image shows reality TV star Paris Hilton with her reality rivals, the Kardashians, in a similar situation.

Although they bear no responsibility for the ads, Ford has added its apologies to those of the ad agency.

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37 Comments on “Creators Of Controversial Ford Ad Dismissed...”

  • avatar

    This could have totally worked if they had put Charlie Sheen in the driver’s seat looking back.

  • avatar

    Printed in the right magazines, it would totally sell cars though.

  • avatar

    The artwork resembles that of a Mad Magazine cartoonist.

  • avatar

    I see nothing offensive about this. Obviously, the detractors never had to drive any of the women I know from point A to point B without becoming infuriated and nearly driving off the road.

  • avatar

    You have expanded your portfolio Thomas. Moving from personal reminiscences to topical news.

    • 0 avatar

      My mother in law is in town so I have more time to read. This is a story I have been watching for a couple of days but I finally decided to dash something off on my lunch break. It looks rushed though, Sorry for the typos.

      Fortuantely, the art in question gets more attention than my piss-poor attention to detail.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    I totally get this. Being an auto ad guy, years ago I did a series of spoof ads for the OJ Edition Ford Bronco. The Ultimate Escape Machine. Of course, they never ran and were meant for our amusement only, but lots of staffers made copies to pass around among friends. One got sent to Letterman and he used it in one of his flashcard segments. Unattributed, thank goodness, or we might have faced the same fate as these spoofing ad makers in India. (Given that rape and murder of non-celebrity women in India has made international news, this was a pretty touchy subject to joke around with — OJ, being a celebrity and already the target of much derision, was a bit safer target. However, this is just stuff ad agency types do to amuse themselves and I’m sure no harm was intended.)

  • avatar

    Why would Berlusconi gag his women in a Ford – as a cruel and unusual punishment or something? Fire the drafters for lack of common sense.

  • avatar

    Oh no, someone’s offended by something. Guess the world’s supposed to just stop while the therapists rebuild some emotional burn victim’s shattered psyche.

    I would love to see a company have the balls to set up a public forum where customers could complain about things like this – and while the customer is whining, some dude in a tux is playing a little violin in the background.

    • 0 avatar


      The decision to fire these people had to be made by gamers who can’t separate fiction from reality.

      People obviously don’t understand the meaning of ‘cartoon’.

      I guess Bugs Bunny is now hate speech.

    • 0 avatar

      Or somebody said something really stupid and insensitive and a company who enjoys a democratic sales model wanted to keep a large portion of people happy.

      To put it bluntly, we’re not too sensitive you’re just emotionally blunt and perhaps a bit of a sociopath. I hear this argument all too often and frankly by allowing it to go unrepentant it confers validity to the issue at hand. If we tell racist jokes amongst friends it just makes you closet racists more or less to give an example.

      • 0 avatar


        Hang on, I’ll go get MY little violin and you can tell me all about how my unkind words hurt you so…

        • 0 avatar

          They don’t hurt me. I’m just as battlescarred as anybody in my generation. I just don’t let insidious behavior become the norm because of cynicism or general apathy. Trust me, you want to hurl explicitives, fists, or anything else I’m game. Just don’t think because I called your behavior out I’m some nancy boy.

          That being said, go back to rubbing dirt in your cuts and proving how much you don’t care about social imagery inundating out society as elites try and dictate our social norms from on high.

  • avatar

    I would have used a commercial Transit Connect. The green replacement for the Ford Econoline Molester Van.

  • avatar

    India is not the place to send your nemesis’ daughter , niece nor wife there.
    They simply have no regards of female to the point of fornicating a snake if someone holds it down for them.

  • avatar

    “A similar image shows reality TV star Paris Hilton with her reality rivals, the Kardashians, in a similar situation.”

    Well they should be bound, gagged, and driven as far away from the media as possible.

  • avatar

    If the other ad shows that big-ass Kardashians can fit in the trunk, that Ford Figo must have a hell of a bedonkadonk.

  • avatar

    Until a minute ago, I was unfamiliar with this term “reality rival.” And now I long for my recent ignorance.

  • avatar

    Fair’s fair…

    There should be one with Big Gay Al leering over his trussed-up Men’s Warehouse models.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    This looks like something National Lampoon would have done if the publication were still around. It was probably meant for in-house amusement but in this era of the internet and facebook this kind of stuff can go viral in an instant. Which was obviously what happened and given that attacks on women in India is now a spectator sport it obviously puts Ford in a bad situation.

  • avatar

    The Kardashians should licence their name to Ford for a spendy, Range Rover-type vehicle…the Ford Dash.

  • avatar

    Wasn’t there a fourth image that featured professional Race car drivers? That one was actually kind of funny.

  • avatar

    There is some grade A snark coming from the B&B. Thanks for the smirks and giggles.

    I’m an engineer, so forgive me this point. It’s not very well drawn, no? It’s completely disproportional. I mean, the girl in brown must have had her spine snapped to get her legs in that position. And the girl in white is even worse. She apparently has no legs.

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