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Ford Figo's Infamous Ad

This sounds like a classic Greek story. Mighty ones brought down by a simple failure to foresee consequences. Ford Motors and it’s global creative agency JWT just bit the dust with release of unapproved ads that defy decency at all levels. Set aside all the PR apologies, it’s hard to believe such a mess-up from a brand like Ford which is quite seasoned and forward thinking when it comes to Social Media. Within moments of the ads coming out, media broke out with criticism connecting the incident to Italian mariners under trial in India to the gang rapes.

Let’s take a look at some reactions on Twitter: 

 It goes beyond Borders:

Some responses can be real Fiery: 

Blueprint for a Disaster: 

What we gather from the situation is that with social media, brands need to be all the more careful since what goes up, stays there forever. Bigger the brand, harder it will hit the ground. Social media is a liability you need to take care of but it is not the only thing you need to worry about. Creative agencies have to think of their people too. In Ford Figo incident, its clearly a lack of subliminal understanding of real world scenarios. Creative execs can be as creative as they want to be, but their twisted humour can land them in a soup especially if sociological consequences are ignored. This is how your liability adds up:

Responsibility = Creative People + Ideas

Risk = Intellectual Property + Social Media

Responsibility + Risk = Creative People + Ideas + Intellectual Property + Social Media = Liability

 

Update: 2 days into the matter, JWT India had to let of it’s Chief Creative Officer, the Creative Director and the team that was directly responsible for the offensive ads. These are the bitter consequences of misplaced creativity and dangerous concoction of  twisted ideas and lack of social media policies within creative agencies

Koustave B

Chief Conversationalist at Organic Social. Brand Communications Consultant with a Tech background. Master Content Writer focused on Inbound Marketing. Loves Guitars and Bicycle rides. The Obi-Wan-Kenobi of Social Media.

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