The Indian unit of Ford Motor Co. has apologized for advertisements that were chastised as tasteless and demeaning, including one that depicted former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in a car with a trio of bound and gagged women in the trunk.
The illustrated ad showed a smiling Berlusconi behind the wheel of a Ford Figo, a subcompact manufactured by Ford India Private Limited in Chennai, India.
The ad featuring the Ford logo appeared over the weekend on the website Ads of the World without approval from the automaker. It quickly went viral.
The ad showed three women bound and gagged in the trunk alongside the slogan “Leave your worries behind.”
The ad was never used commercially and was produced at an outside agency, Ford said.
The automaker's Indian office said Monday that the images were "contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford.”