In Brief – WPP India Employees Sacked After Sexist Ford Ads
Employees of an Indian-based arm of advertising firm, WPP, have been sacked following the release of sexist advertising posters for Ford cars. The posters included images of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, driving a car with three half-dressed, bound and gagged women in the boot, as well as one of a Paris Hilton look-alike with three women who resembled the Kardashian sisters tied in the boot.
The ads were released just days after the Indian government introduced new, stronger laws to punish sex crimes, following the horrific gang-rape of a medical student in Delhi in December last year.
“These were never intended for paid publication, were never requested by our Ford client and should never have been created, let alone uploaded to the Internet,” a statement released by the company said.
“These posters were created by individuals within the agency and did not go through the normal review and oversight process.”
In a time when India is under the international spotlight regarding the status of women, these posters only further illustrate the problem of a pervading sexist culture throughout the nation.
That said, it should be noted that advertising has a long history of sexism and the objectification of women, and these issues can’t be isolated to this particularly distasteful campaign.
For more info, check out the Reuters write-up here.