Audi Drops ‘Insensitive’ Ad Featuring Girl Eating Banana In Front Of Car
Audi has scrapped an advert featuring a young girl eating a banana in front of a car after it was slammed for being ‘insensitive’ and ‘provocative’.
The questionable ad was made to promote the Audi RS4, which Audi boasts as having the ‘high performance of a sports car and the functionality of a family car’.
A series of pictures on the German carmaker’s website show a couple and a young child playing in and around the car, seemingly posed in an effort to highlight its benefits as a family car. However, it’s an offshoot of this advertising campaign that caused controversy.
The ad in question shows a young girl leaning against the grille of the red Audi, wearing sunglasses and eating a banana. Audi’s post alongside the image reads, ‘Lets your heart beat faster – in every aspect.’
Social media users were quick to express their thoughts after the ad was shared, with many slamming the image for being inappropriate. Some pointed out that the advert was sexually suggestive, as both sports cars and bananas have been used in the past as symbols of male lust, and women have been known to be used as sex symbols to promote cars.
One Twitter user wrote:
So, let your heart beat faster in every aspect? Picture of – child with banana in mouth and flash car- so wrong in EVERY aspect.
Took women 2 seconds flat to pick up on the disturbing innuendo (female child attired like adult in front of red sports car eating a banana!!). More diversity in your marketing/management leadership. These “mistakes” should NEVER happen.
Other people have described the ad as ‘life-threatening’, pointing out that a driver would be unlikely able to see if a young child were leaning against the grille of the car, as is seen in the advert.
Following the backlash, Audi issued an apology for having published the advert and said it wouldn’t be used again – though at the time of writing, August 4, it is still live on the company’s Twitter feed.
Writing on Twitter, Audi said:
We hear you and let’s get this straight: We care for children.
Audi explained it had showcased the car ‘with various family members for the campaign’ in an effort to highlight it as a family car ‘with more than thirty driver assistance systems including an emergency break system’ [sic].
The statement continued:
We hoped we could convey these messages, showing that even for the weakest traffic participants it is possible to relaxingly lean on the RS technology. That was a mistake! Audi never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings.
We sincerely apologize for this insensitive image and ensure that it will not be used in future.
The company has since launched an internal investigation to figure out ‘how this campaign has been created and if control mechanisms failed in this case’.
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