27 March 2013

[ad_design] When Words Fail, Just Tie A Woman Up And Throw Her In The Trunk

2906.In advertising, a joke can get too nuanced or dry betimes.

Today, in Our Conflicted Attitudes About Women, a Eurasian ad agency's (JWT) employees, showing off creative concepts for a notional campaign for the Ford Figo (a subcompact sold in the Indian market), created a worldwide furore. Why? Here's part of it:

That smiling figure in the front seat, flashing the satisfied peace-sign now that all his troubles are behind him (and appropriately silent), is ex-Italian PM Silvio Burlusconi, he of the 'bunga-bunga' parties and the sex scandals.

The idea is, of course, at the wheel of the Ford Figo, you can 'leave your worries behind', although I can't hear the tagline over abducting bound and gagged women and throwing them in your trunk. Sophisticated humor is like that, I suppose. But, hey, equal opportunity! There's also one of Paris Hilton with the three Kardashian sisters bound and gagged in the Figo's trunk. I showed a piece of one of them above, to see both in their full risible glory, check out the story at Businessweek Insider.

The ad concepts were apparently not circulated with the approval of JWT, but were uploaded by employees seeking a publication's award:
The ads hadn't been intended for publication, but were circulated widely after they were uploaded on an industry website by JWT employees over the weekend. The website, Ads of the World, gives monthly awards to ads submitted by users.
This had been done without JWT or Ford's authorization.
The depiction of assault on women is not only disturbing but inopportune, happening as it does during a time when the nation of India is fighting a battle with itself over the violence done to women that have made national and world headlines latterly.

We're hoping this becomes a teachable moment.

And, according to the Wall Street Journal, heads have rolled over it. So, there's that.

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