AR-News: (US) Ford Upset by Ad Depicting Decapitation

Ronda Roaring rondaroaring at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 20 15:54:10 EDT 2004


Ford Upset by Ad Depicting Decapitation
Email to a FriendPrinter Friendly Version  Also on the WebApproved SportKa AdSimilarly Controversial Unauthorized Nokia AdWatch the Controversial Ford SportKa Adif (document.layers) {document.write(''); document.close();}coreAdsCreate('180x150', 'aff');
DEARBORN, MI (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. is upset by the release of an Internet advertisement that depicts the decapitation of a computer-animated cat by a power moonroof hatch, saying it didn't authorize the clip. 

The ad for the Sportka, a hatchback sold in Europe, shows the realistic-looking orange cat climbing on top of the car and poking its head into the open moonroof, The Detroit News reported Sunday. The hatch slides closed, the cat struggles briefly and its headless body slides to the ground. 
Ford says the clip was conceived without its approval by ad agency Ogilvy & Mather as part of a "viral marketing" campaign for the Sportka. "Viral marketing," a type of e-mail marketing, is the electronic version of word of mouth, usually inviting recipients to forward an e-mail to others. 
"We find this unauthorized ad totally unacceptable and reprehensible and deplore the fact that it has been unofficially issued," Ford spokesman Oscar Suris said. 
Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide issued a statement saying it also didn't sanction the commercial, which was leaked onto the Internet on April 1. 
"Both companies find this unofficial advertisement totally unacceptable and reprehensible," the statement said. "The action in the video clip was totally computer generated, and we would like to assure you that no animal was harmed in its making." 
A similar uproar was created when an unathorized commercial for mobile phone company Nokia was leaked to the Internet. In it a cat is shown being swung around by a ceiling fan while an onlooker records it on his cell phone. Nokia also disavowed any knowledge and rejected it as an official company advertisement. 
In a statement released to the media, Nokia claimed to have assurances that "trick photography" was used and that the cat was unharmed. 
Interestingly, the final SportKa ad approved by Ford - which contains another of the malicious vehicles and a pigeon - has reportedly drawn similar complaints from animal rights groups. 
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