Ford bondage ads reportedly trigger firings at Indian ad agency.
You will probably remember the ads for the Ford Figo hatchback in India, the ones that showcased the extra large boot of the little hatchback by joking that you can fit three of your enemies in the trunk. One of the ads had Michael Schumacher in the front seat, obviously pleased about having Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso tied up in the back. But the other two had Paris Hilton and ex-Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi up front and three bound and gagged women in the back – in Hilton's case (shown above), it was the Kardashians.
This did not go over well, and Reuters reports that certain employees at JWT India have been fired over the matter. It is also reported that the images weren't actual advertisements, nor were they part of an actual campaign; JWT said they "were never intended for paid publication, were never requested by our Ford client." A JWT rep said the employees who created the ads did so on their own, Ford commented to Automotive News that the ads were "part of a creative exercise intended to test concepts for an advertising competition."
The problem, if the story is to be believed, is that the employees skipped the regular review protocols and uploaded their work to an ad industry site – they were found on Ads of the World. That page, like the employees, has been removed.
Sun Mar 17 2013 18:39:06 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Obama calls for spending $2 billion in oil lease revenues on clean vehicles
President Obama wants to know how many clean cars $2 billion can buy. In an announcement expected later today, the President is expected to ask Congress to use $2 billion that the government has raised from allowing oil and gas exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf to fund clean energy transportation. That means plug-in vehicles, better batteries, biofuels and compressed natural gas vehicles.
Obama will reportedly make the announcement at Argonne National Laboratory, a site already known for automotive innovation, including the development of an omnivorous engine and, with General Motors, improved batteries. The President previously mentioned taking oil and gas money and putting it into an "Energy Security Trust" fund in his State of the Union speech last month. The money would come from offshore oil drilling leases and would be spread out over 10 years. There would not be any expansion of offshore drilling (or a change in the administration's position on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) to raise the money. The end goal, as we've heard so many times before, is to "protect American families from spikes in gas prices and allow us to run our cars and trucks on electricity or homegrown fuels," according to White House documents.
Of course, just because the President asks for something doesn't mean Congress will go along. As the The Detroit News notes, the President asked for $650 million for battery and vehicle research last year but Congress only approved $330 million. Also, there are still many billions of Department of Energy loan money left over from the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan (ATVMP).