Advert showed cartoon of former Italian Prime Minister with three bound and gagged women in car boot
Ford India has apologised after publishing a series of controversial adverts featuring former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi giving a victory sign with three bound and gagged women in the boot of his car.
Another advert for the Ford Figo car, manufactured in the country since 2010, showed Paris Hilton with the Kardashians, again bound and gagged, in her car boot.
The tag line for both ads reads: ‘Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.’
The adverts come as India is still in shock following a spate of violent attacks on women, including the recent gang rape and death of a young student in Delhi.
Ford have released a statement saying: ‘We deeply regret this incident and agree with our agency partners that it should have never happened.
‘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.’
Advertising agency WPP gave a statement to The Huffington Post echoing this regret.
They said: ‘We deeply regret the publishing of posters that were distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within WPP Group.
‘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 where they work to deal with the situation.’
Berlusconi is currently on trial for allegedly paying a 17-year-old girl for sex at some of his infamous parties. Both deny any wrongdoing.