But this wasn't just some online pervert's S&M fantasy gone viral. It was a poster advertising the Ford's Figo's spacious cargo compartment, complete with the tag line:“Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra large boot.”
The bondage mockup from a brainstorming project at an advertising agency in India— along with others in which caricatures of notable personalities hold their rivals captive in their compact sedan — were posted online, creating a headache for the auto giant after critics called the campaign offensive and misogynistic, according to Britain's Daily Mail.
“We deeply regret this incident and agree with our agency partners that it should have never happened,” Ford said in a statement.
Another ad shows imagines former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gleeful and flashing a peace sign as three scantily clad women lie bound and gagged in his cargo hold. It's not only women who are tied up for transport. A third mockup shows Formula One champ Michael Schumacher with racing rivals Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso held prisoner, though they're fully clothed.
The offending drawings came from JWT India, a Mumbai-based ad firm tasked with selling the Figo, a car built in India and sold in the developing world since 2010. They were uploaded to the AdsOfTheWorld website without authorization from the agency or client, JWT told the Daily Mail.
"These were never intended for paid publication and should never have been created, let alone uploaded to the internet," JWT said in a statement, adding that it "deeply regret the publishing of posters that were distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within WPP Group," its parent company.
Ford promised it would review the matter: "Together with our partners, we are reviewing approval and oversight processes to help ensure nothing like this ever happens again."