Ford apologizes for Berlusconi bondage ad

Published On: Mar 25 2013 10:50:37 AM EDT
Updated On: Mar 25 2013 10:51:08 AM EDT

Ford Motor Co.

Ford is apologizing for a series of disturbing ads that depict former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi with a trio of bound women in the trunk of a car.

The ads had not yet been used, but appeared over the weekend on a website showcasing creative advertising, a Ford India spokeswoman told The Associated Press.

They sparked immediate uproar online and came just days after India passed a major anti-rape law following the fatal gang rape of a student on a bus.

"Ford India Needs to Fire Its Advertising Execs," a headline on Slate.com read. Twitter users reacted with posts like "Disgusting!" and "SHAME," according to the AP.

All of the ads feature Ford's logo.

One showed three women bound and gagged in the trunk of a Ford Figo, with Berlusconi smiling and flashing the peace sign in the driver's seat. The tag line reads, "Leave your worries behind with the Figo’s extra-large boot," likely in reference to Berlusconi's many affairs and bunga bunga parties, Business Insider reported.

Paris Hilton is also featured, apparently kidnapping reality TV stars Kardashian sisters, and Formula One driver Michael Schumacher is also depicted abducting his male racing competition, the AP reported.

In apologies on its Facebook page, Ford said the images were "contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford."

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