In late 2012, India was dealing with massive outrage after a female student was gang raped and murdered. A few months later, the government passed a new law to enact harsher punishments for sex crimes. Bizarrely, that’s also when an advertising company thought it would be best to use sex crimes to sell Ford hatchbacks to the Indian market.
Even more bizarre, they thought that the best celebrity they could use was former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Advertising agency JWT India released a cartoon image depicting Berlusconi behind the wheel of a Ford Figo, smiling and throwing up the victory sign while carrying three scantily clad women bound and gagged in the trunk. It should also be noted that, at the time, Berlusconi was on trial for using an underage prostitute for his infamous bunga bunga parties.
The goal of the advertisement was to highlight the spaciousness of the Figo under the tagline, “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra large boot.” The campaign also included another cartoon of Paris Hilton carrying three Kardashians in the trunk.