New Delhi

Authors of Berlusconi girls in car trunk ad sacked

Ford India apologised for incident that angered feminists

Authors of Berlusconi girls in car trunk ad sacked

New Delhi, March 27 - An Indian advertising agency has sacked the creators of an ad showing ex-Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi driving a new Ford with three scantily clad, bound and gagged young women in the trunk. JWT, a subsidiary of British PR giant WPP, fired the authors after their cartoon, which never ran publicly, appeared on the Web and angered Indian feminists who have successfully campaigned for a new law on sexual violence in the wake of the brutal gang-rape and murder of a young women on a New Delhi bus. On Monday Ford India apologised for the cartoon, which highlighted the "extra-large" trunk of the Ford Figo. Berlusconi, who cultivates an image as a lady's man and is currently standing trial on accusations he paid for sex with an underage prostitute, was shown driving a Figo with three women he apparently abducted. "We regret this incident, it should never have happened," Ford said in its apology. "These images are contrary to standards of professionalism and dignity followed by Ford and companies that work for us," it added. "We are now committed to reviewing the procedures for approving and monitoring (advertisements) to ensure that it does not happen again". As well as mocking the three-time Italian premier, the cheeky humour was also seen as highly inappropriate amid India's alarming recent increase in reported sexual violence against women after the mid-December deadly gang-rape in the capital.

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