Ford sorry for offensive Figo ads

The mockups, created by an Indian agency, were never commercially used, but the company is still in hot water for these images of bound and gagged women.

By Kim Peterson Mar 25, 2013 4:36PM
Ford's (F) Figo cars are so roomy that you could fit three bound and gagged women in the trunk. Yep, that's the selling point of what may be the worst car advertisement in history.

The company is apologizing for the three mockup ads, which were never used but were reportedly posted over the weekend on the industry website Ads of the World. Indian advertising agency JWT India reportedly created the images.
The most offensive ad shows Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi driving a Ford Figo, smiling and making the "peace" sign with his fingers as three scantily clad women lie tied up in the trunk. The ad's slogan: "Leave your worries behind with the Figo's extra-large boot."

Another ad shows a drawing of Paris Hilton smiling with three Kardashian sisters bound and gagged in the trunk. A third ad shows an image of Formula One driver Michael Schumacher driving with his male racing rivals in the trunk.Ford 2011 Explorer - Toby Talbot, AP Photo

These images would probably have been killed immediately if anyone at Ford's corporate headquarters saw them. Still, the company said it regrets the whole thing and called the ads "contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford," Time Magazine reports.

The kerfuffle comes at an extremely sensitive time in India after the fatal gang rape last year of a student on a bus and, more recently, after a Swiss tourist was raped and robbed. India's Parliament passed new legislation last week protecting women against sexual violence.

The ads caused an uproar on Twitter. Here's what some people are saying on the site:

"Ford India needs to fire its advertising execs. Like, right now." -- Slate Magazine

"Leaving aside the idiocy of the hog-tied women, did Ford think that Berlusconi would sell cars in India? I feel lost." -- Reuters editor James Ledbetter

"Revolting, who even creates something like this?" -- Car industry analyst Kristen Andersson

More on moneyNOW

Mar 25, 2013 6:39PM
There's nothing offensive about kidnapping and doing evil deeds to the Kardashians.  That should result in a medal for public service.
Mar 25, 2013 7:04PM
Ford didn't make the ads, idiots. It was made by an Indian advertising agency. They won't be used. Everyone please stop your whining.
Mar 25, 2013 7:33PM
What's wrong with having the Kardashians tied up in the back of a car, drive it off the flippin' cliff with them!
Mar 25, 2013 6:01PM
Whats with India,Lately! DoThey have their Sacred Cow up their BUTT!
Mar 25, 2013 7:15PM
I work at a Ford dealer and Ford needs to cut ties IMMEDIATELY.  Several people at Ford that I have talked with totally agree.  This was done without any input or viewing by anyone at Ford.
Mar 25, 2013 5:53PM
Somethings FISHY, Here! an Indian Ad Agency? PloyToys!
Mar 25, 2013 8:24PM
Hey .......did ya hear  "It happens sometimes."  I vote or the one with the Kardashians in the back.  LOL Don't bring them back
Mar 26, 2013 7:46AM
Shows how stupid people are, to over react to something and blame someone (or entity) who is not even responsible. Get your facts correct first. Bunch of idiots.
Mar 26, 2013 7:32AM
The main problem is that the commercials weren't about gay marriage. Otherwise, they would have been okay.

Mar 26, 2013 9:39AM

""Paris Hilton smiling with three Kardashian sisters bound and gagged in the trunk"""


well THAT's not a bad concept though

Mar 26, 2013 4:24AM
JWT (J. Walter Thompson) is an international ad agency - how on earth is it possible that they allowed their Indian subsidiary the leeway to produce such tasteless and insensitive ads? They are an insult to the Indian people. 

Ford should take JWT to the woodshed, and JWT should ensure that the people responsible for embarrassing their customer be appropriately punished - as well as making a public apology to Ford for implicating them in the affair.

We don't want to stifle creativity - but JWT has a responsibility to creatively defuse this mess - watch this space.
Mar 25, 2013 11:46PM
Ford is an America company, why are they out sourcing? Never mind that was rhetorical. They should have never apologized for what an Indian company took upon themselves to put on the internet. OH HOLY COW! I HAVE DROPPED MY DOT EXCUSE ME!
Mar 25, 2013 10:26PM
Mar 25, 2013 8:59PM
You must keep in mind the East Indian method of dealing with women lately...gang rapes, etc.  With a segment of their national mentality on that wavelength they certainly would have a share of the market that this type of ad would excite. 
Mar 26, 2013 11:02AM

"These images would probably have been killed immediately if anyone at Ford's corporate headquarters saw them."


Sounds similar to passing ObummerCare without reading what's in it.

Mar 26, 2013 11:55AM
a recent VW ad used Ted Nugent's Stranglehold... a song about a ex stalking and threatening... not very well vetted i fear
Mar 25, 2013 11:33PM

AS USUAL.....The average American fails to read the article or understand the content....


There is little hope for most of you morons....

Mar 26, 2013 12:30PM
Was that Bernie Eccelstone in the one with the 3 F1 drivers?! If so, I think the ad agency was right on!! LOL!!
Mar 26, 2013 8:42AM
These are not offensive! It's comedy, not everyone thinks it's what! People are missing the point of the ads. They are commercials. Just to many people expressing their view and forcing their own opinions on the world. Why is it that every time a girl gets attacked in India it makes the news in  the USA??? PC police need to take a vacation.
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