ROME — The Indian unit of Ford Motor Company has apologised for an advertisement showing former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with a group of bound women in the boot of a car.
The advert, showing three women bound and gagged in the boot of a Ford Figo, appeared on a website.
Berlusconi was shown in the driver’s seat with a slogan: “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.”
The advert has not been used commercially.
Reports say that it was posted online by the India-based advertising agency hired by Ford.
The company said it regretted the incident and called the images “contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford”.
“We deeply regret this incident and agree with our agency partners that it should have never happened,” Ford said.
A spokesperson told the BBC that the company was taking the incident “seriously and are reviewing approval and oversight processes, and taking necessary steps to ensure nothing like this ever happens”.
Last year Ford’s chief executive Alan Mulally told the BBC that the Indian market was becoming “increasingly important” for the company. (BBC)