Ford apologises over inappropriate ads

Last updated 15:10 25/03/2013

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Ford has come under heavy criticism and issued a subsequent apology over an advertising campaign which depicts celebrities bound, gagged and stuffed into the boot of an Indian-made small sedan.

Three separate posters have emerged online attempting to showcase the Ford Figo, a compact sedan built for the Indian domestic market.

The images were reportedly produced by an Indian advertising firm during one of its brainstorming sessions for Ford, but weren't supposed to be uploaded online.

"[We] deeply regret the publishing of posters that were distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within WPP Group," a statement from the agency read on the UK's Daily Mail website.

"These were never intended for paid publication and should never have been created, let alone uploaded to the internet. This was the result of individuals acting without proper oversight and appropriate actions have been taken within the agency."

The drawings attempt to exploit the Figo's spacious cargo area with the punch line: ''Leave your worries behind with the Figo's extra-large boot''.

One drawing features Paris Hilton with reality television counterparts Khloe, Kourtney and Kim Kardashian, who are tied up and bound while they squeeze into the back of the car.

In a second drawing, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi poses with three scantily clad women who are similarly bound and tied.

A third version shows Formula One driver Michael Schumacher behind the wheel of the car while his race car rivals, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso suffer in the back.

Ford has also issued a strongly-worded apology and condemned the agency over the drawings.

"The posters are contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford and our agency partners. Together with our partners, we are reviewing approval and oversight processes to help ensure nothing like this ever happens again," the company said in a statement.

-Fairfax News Australia

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