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Ford Apologizes for Ads Showing Bound, Gagged Women

“Should have never happened,” maker says of Indian ad campaign.

by on Mar.24, 2013

One of the Ford India ads shows a caricature of Pari Hilton with the three Kardashian sisters bound and gagged inside a Figo.

Ford Motor Co. is taking heat for a series of ads it released in India showing caricatures of several celebrities behind the wheel of a Ford car with three women bound and gagged in the cargo bay.

With critics declaring the campaign offensive and misogynistic, Ford and its global ad agency WPP have quickly backtracked, apologizing and admitting the campaign “should never have happened.”

In one of the three, released to the website Ads of the World, a caricature of Paris Hilton is shown winking from behind the wheel of a Ford Figo with the three Kardashian sisters bound and gagged in the cargo compartment of the hatchback.

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Another ad uses a satirical image of Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi driving with three other scantily clad women bound and gagged. Meanwhile, a third ad for the Figo puts Formula One driving champ Michael Schumacher behind the wheel. This time, however, three of his long-time rivals, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, are held captive.

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Update: Former Caddy Boss LaNeve Links up with Ford

Will head maker’s Team Detroit ad agency.

by on Jul.31, 2012

Mark LaNeve during his tenure as GM's North American sales, service and marketing chief.

TheDetroitBureau.com has updated its original report:

Mark LaNeve, the ever-quotable former Cadillac boss and marketing chief at General Motors is back in Motown, but this time he’s hanging his hat at Team Detroit, the ad agency for GM’s cross-town rival Ford Motor Co.

The plain-talking native of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania led Cadillac during its nascent renaissance, nearly a decade ago, before moving up to the corporate suites as the head of GM marketing.  He left the maker as it plunged into bankruptcy.

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In his new job LaNeve will be the agency chief for the massive Ford account as chief operating officer for Motor City-based Team Detroit.  The unit brings together a wide array of global assets from WPP LLC, the giant ad conglomerate itself based in London.  LaNeve, in turn, will be the ad-side liaison working with Ford’s global marketing chief Jim Farley.

With both determined to amp up Ford’s marketing efforts, the move could see the maker engage in what one executive described as “bloodlust marketing” in a conversation with TheDetroitBureau.com.

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