Last week, Ford experienced an unexpected PR disaster when creatives at JWT India — the Ford Figo’s agency of record — released an unauthorised ad on the internet that shows Silvio Berlusconi tying up and gagging scantily clad women in the (albeit spacious) trunk of his car.
Ford isn’t the only major company that has had to answer for a controversial ad it never wanted to go public.
A series of Pepsi ads in Dusseldorf showed graphic images of a personified calorie committing suicide in various violent ways. The World Wildlife Foundation had to apologise when DDB Brazil created ads in which dozens of planes were shown flying at the World Trade Towers with the text, “The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11.” WWF said it never approved the ads even though they were submitted to various ad award ceremonies.
FORD: A team from JWT India posted an ad for the Ford Figo (in which Silvio Berlusconi ties up and gags crying women in the trunk of his car) on Ads of the World. It wasn't meant to be distributed.
There was also an ad with a winking Paris Hilton getting ready to dispose of the scantily clad Kardashians, her reality television competition. Both WPP Group and Ford apologized.
WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: In 2009, DDB Brazil made a spec ad for the WWF that showed dozens of planes flying at the Twin Towers. The text tried to justify the image with the statement that 100 times more people died in the 2004 tsunami than 9/11.
This one depicted a man drinking cyanide while hanging himself. The campaign has since been taken down.
While many were offended, according to the Inspiration Room the ads won the Silver Press Lion at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity.
KIA: In 2011, Brazil-based agency Moma created an ad campaign for Kia that toyed with pedophilia — representing a sexual situation between a teacher and a young student. It even won an award at Cannes for it ...
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.