The problem with the ad, which has been called a number of things, but none of them good, is that it features caricatures of the three Kardashian sisters in bound, gagged and disheveled in the back seat of a Figo. Meanwhile fellow celebrity-who-is-famous-for-being-famous Paris Hilton winks at them from the passenger seat of the car.
Two similar ads were leaked including one showing former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi posing with a peace sign in the front seat of a vehicle, as three scantily-clad, disgruntled women are bound in the back of the vehicle. The women were later identified by La Repubblica as the women at the heart of the Berlusconi sex scandal.
Two apologies have already been issued. Ford apologized in a statement to CNBC:
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.WPP Group, which is the parent company of the ad agency responsible for the cartoons, also apologized and claimed that these mocked-up ads were never intended for the public:
We deeply regret the publishing of posters that were distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within WPP Group. These posters 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.An attorney for the Kardashian family called the ads "disgusting, vile and offensive to all women." The lawyer added that the Kardashians ...
do not take this lightly and they are exploring all of their legal options. It is unacceptable that Ford would align itself with an ad agency that would so carelessly release these ads.