Last month, Ford Motors landed in hot water after a series of sexist advertisements it ran in India.
The three bad ads feature illustrations of Paris Hilton, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and German racecar driver Michael Schumacher each sitting in the front seat of a Ford Figo. In each ad, the celebrity had their “enemies” tied up in the trunk (to demonstrate how big it was). Hilton had paparrazi bound and gaggedl Schumaker had rival drivers. Berlusconi had a bunch of scantily clad models in his trunk.
Of course, this isn’t the first time an ad campaign has courted controversy. Last year, the makers of Pop Chips thought it would be hilarious to dress actor Ashton Kutcher up as “Raj,” a sleazy, thick-accented Bollywood producer and stick him in a commercial. Following an outcry on the Internet, the company yanked the bad ads.
In spring of 2012, the Lung Cancer Alliance rolled out a series of bizarre posters arguing that nobody deserved to die of cancer, each people widely thought to be annoying, including “hipsters,” “crazy old aunts” and “cat people.” The ads, which the LCA hoped would lead people to its informational website, were a little too subtle, though, when people thought they were saying that those groups deserved to die. Many of the posters were torn down in several cities, presumably by hipsters, crazy old aunts, and cat lovers.