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Ford SportKa commercial shows graphic image-

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hmm. This is disturbing. The link to the actual video can be found on the snopes website link below.

** Warning - this link contains footage which you may find hard to watch **

post #2 of 31
I came across this on another forum. The pigeon video was as disgusting as the cat one. Although many people wrote that they had emailed their objections to Ford, that might just "confirm" the ad's "effectiveness".
post #3 of 31
Ok wait.. i could'nt click the link but are you saying this is a COMMERCIAL? A company promoting a product with this?
post #4 of 31
There are advertising standards agencies in most countries where you can register a complaint and they are duty-bound to investigate.

There is another ad showing in the UK for a Renault (some ugly small mpv that they produce), depicting it as a dog that proceeds to chase a cat and obviously catch it judging from the simulated, agonized meow that is heard.

Being in the industry, I think this is sloppy advertising, created by individuals that would be better served not having wasted everyone's time and money by going to art school.

I love advertising as a medium as it can be creative, funny, thought-provoking and even disturbing - but this can all be done using clever ideas that do not cause harm or purport to cause harm or distress to living things.
post #5 of 31
OMG that is disgusting!
post #6 of 31
Hey Bumpy,
This is one of the sickest exhibitions of poor judgement and taste that I have ever seen displayed. Suppose it had been a human child, who finding all the doors locked had reached in the sunroof to say get its teddybear. I belong to several major animal rights groups, hope you don't mind but I am going to send the link for this video to them and demand that we we organize some sort of protest. This is just plane evil and to do it and think that you can profit from it, just shows the sort of distorted, out-of-touch judgement that is going on in our corporate boardroons. Seeya, Doug
post #7 of 31
Ok I didn't watch the video clip, but I did read it. There was no way I could watch it, even if it is fake. I am disgusted with Ford and lets just say I will definately not be buying a ford car in the future. I really do hope some animal rights groups pick up on this soon! I know there is a animal rights member on my morning news, maybe I should e-mail them with the link?
post #8 of 31
Hey Meagan,
I watched the video clip. It is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen, if it is real. I hope not, but if it is it boggles my mind. What is Ford advertising here, our sun roofs are defective and may cut your arm off, or what? So far I have contacted half a dozen animal rights groups, I've only heard from two; PETA and US Humane Society - they say their checking it out and will get back to me. If I hear anything I pass it along, Seeya, Doug
post #9 of 31
I also came across this on another forum, but someone posted a link to a news article that quoted Ford UK execs as saying this was an ad that was canned in the very early stages, and they are investigating how it was leaked to the internet in the first place. I still think everyone is within their rights to voice their displeasure, but I personally am satisfied that Ford is doing the right thing and seeking out those responsible for the release of this disturbing video. It is obviously fake, digitized, whatever, but still the initial concept was in very poor taste and it's disappointing that anyone would want to send it out even as a joke.

I haven't seen the pidgeon version, but from what I read I didn't think the bird was hurt, only batted away, like I would do if one tried to roost on me. Don't know, don't care, don't think Ford will be trying that again.
post #10 of 31
Hey RicaLynn,
Heard unofficially from a friend at PETA. He said that Ford claims that the ad was supposed to never be released, and that the idea was discarded in the earlier stages. But most importantly to me, is that the Ford people claim that the ad was computer generated and that no cat was killed to make that commercial. That lets them off the hook as far as I am concerned. Of course there is always the matter of bad taste, but that is not a crime, or I would have Martha Stewart arrested for wearing fur. Seeya, Doug
post #11 of 31
The people who think adverts up such as this one have their brains in the seat of their pants!!!. Idiots!.
post #12 of 31
Hey everyone,

I've talked to several people at PETA and today I got an official response from them. They say and I believe them that no cat was killed making that commercial (although you could have fooled me, I almost lost my lunch when I saw that thing the first time.) I'll post the official response here because it has addresses if anyone wants to write Ford and thank them for nauseating everyone.
Dear Friend,

Thank you for writing to us about this disturbing Ford internet commercial.
We understand that no animals were harmed in the making of these adverts. We
have written to Ford to express our disapproval of their advertising methods
- about this commercial and the previous one which featured a pigeon.

According to other supporters who have called Ford, Ford is now denying
knowledge of these commercials despite links that were previously displayed
on their own website to these ads. The Ford website for this car
(www.the-eviltwin.co.uk) has now been taken down, so perhaps they are taking
note of the complaints that they have been receiving.

Please write a letter to Ford to express your disgust - their address is
Ford, Customer Relationship Centre, P.O. Box 25149, Glasgow, G2 4XF, UK or
via telephone at +44 (0)845 841 1111.

You can also contact the advertising agency responsible for these ads at
Ogilvy & Mather, 10 Cabot Square, London, E14 4QB, UK. Telephone +44 (0)20
7345 3000, Fax +44 (0)20 7345 9000

Thank you for all that you do for animals!

Kind regards,


Sofia Leander
Administrative Assistant
PETA Europe
PO Box 36668
London SE1 1WA

post #13 of 31


(AP) Ford Motor Co. is upset by the release of an Internet commercial that depicts a computer generated cat being decapitated, saying it didn't authorize the proposed ad or its release.

The ad for the Sportka, a hatchback sold in Europe, shows the realistic-looking orange cat climbing on top of the car and curiously poking its head into the open moonroof, The Detroit News reported Sunday.

The moonroof slides closed and the cat struggles briefly to escape before its headless body slides to the ground.

Ford says the clip was conceived without its approval by ad agency Ogilvy & Mather as part of a viral marketing campaign for the Sportka. A type of e-mail marketing, viral marketing is the electronic version of word of mouth — usually inviting the recipients to forward an e-mail to others.

I say that someone needs to start a petition that Ford and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide donate $1 million to the support of spay/neuter and animal rescue programs!!!

It's bad enough that people think hurting cats is "funny" without multi-billion dollar auto manufacturer and ad agencies promoting the idea.

post #14 of 31
Hi Scott-

There is already a thread about this in the SOS Lounge. I know a lot of letters have been sent from all sorts of animal lovers about it. So I am merging yours with the exisiting one.
post #15 of 31
post #16 of 31
Here's another idea:

How about Ford and O&M donate spay-neuter and rescue vans?

They spend millions on advertising. They should at least take responsibility to correct what they did.
post #17 of 31

What an excellent idea!

And...I don't believe for one moment that an ad agency can distribute an ad without the company's approval! The company (Ford) would have seen and approved the sketchings of the "concept" before the ad agency spent any mony creating an ad. Ford is trying to wash its hands, but they are obviously just as guilty as the ad agency!
post #18 of 31
However, some cynics have suggested that nothing "backfired," and Ford got exactly what it wanted — an effective "viral marketing" campaign that attracted a good deal of attention to their new SportKa model through the controversy it generated:

The above is a quote from the article. I would add, although the ad is an irresponsible and stupidly crass attempt at spreading their 'viral' message they appear to some extent to have succeeded.

Whether Ford were aware or not (yeah right . . . like you do ANYTHNG without client approval) O&M must be populated by a bunch of moronic and juvenille creatives to have come up with such a weak and lets face it, sick, concept.

Anyway . . . let's not perpetrate these cretins' private joke and let their stupid ad rest with the censors and the advertising standards agencies in the relevant countries. Hopefully it will backfire horribly on the agency.
post #19 of 31
As a former Paramedic, I can tell you that the cat being decapitated was faked, otherwise it would have been an obvious mess that a blind man could have seen.

I think that a commercial like that would only appeal to young men who are looking for something "cool" and who are, in many cases, pathalogical cat-haters. That is probably who this car would be marketed to, young men who don't have the money for a Corvette or a Ferrari and would have to settle for this beer-can-on-wheels.
I could probably flatten one of these cars with my semi and never even realize that I'd hit it!

As far as Ford doing this or doing that, making donations of money or vehicles, I think that is bordering on extortion, remember that companies like Ford sub-contract their advertising to advertising firms and give them an overview of the car and how they want to market it to the public.
When those who came up with this idea had to present it to someone for approval, I think that person, who can approve or disapprove a commercial, should have known that an ad like this would have caused anger, dismay and outrage from those screwy cat-lovers , oops, wait a minute, that's us!

Whomever approved this dumb idea is at the least, wishing they hadn't as they congratulate the person who got the promotion they had hoped for and at worst, wearing out shoe-leather looking for a new job.
post #20 of 31
As far as Ford doing this or doing that, making donations of money or vehicles, I think that is bordering on extortion, remember that companies like Ford sub-contract their advertising to advertising firms and give them an overview of the car and how they want to market it to the public.
I disagree. I think donating vehicles or money is an act of good faith. "Business is business" and Ford and O&M just sent a worldwide message that portraying animals getting killed is a cute and funny way to promote Ford's product. Since we know a lot of people think that hurting and disliking cats is "funny" anyway, these companies are basically exploiting a hurtful attitude to make some money.

If a company put out video showing a human (for the sake of this example, let's say a member of random ethnic group) getting hurt or maimed for an advertisement, they would immediately start doing damage control -- probably by setting up a scholarship fund or donating a community center -- to apologize for their mistake and restore a good relationship with that community. Advertising is about encouraging a business relationship by encouraging a personal

Let's face it: Ford can say anything it wants. It's ultimately responsible for what its employees and subcontractors do in its name while its paying them. They're also responsible for establishing good faith with their community when they do something so obviously and purposefully insensitive.
post #21 of 31
A friend of mine sent that link to me thinking it would be "funny" I was not amused at all in fact I was quite upset and disgusted that he would even think that is funny. I am writting Ford a letter to tell them just how distasteful that is
post #22 of 31
Originally Posted by Scott77777
I disagree. I think donating vehicles or money is an act of good faith. "Business is business" and Ford and O&M just sent a worldwide message that portraying animals getting killed is a cute and funny way to promote Ford's product.
But therein lies the rub, Scott. When companies cave to this kind of pressure from any group, it means that any group that has "issues" will see this as a means to get freebies.
By Ford doing this, they're just letting the inmates run the asylum.
When do the "acts of contrition" become nothing more than extortion?
Where do you draw the line?
Who get's the free vehicles?

So it's not enough that people vote with their wallets, Ford has to give out free cars because they offended someone?
Where does it stop?

In case you missed it, in this hyper-sensative world, all you have to do is THINK about someone who feels put upon in a way that they don't like and they immediatly claim victim status and have their hands out.
post #23 of 31
To be honest, Ford can handle the situation however it likes to its own benefit or detriment. I simply think it's a good public relations move for them to put a positive spin on their "accident."

Let's use another example: Ford does big business with the healthcare industry. Ford hires a Ogilvy & Mather to create an ad campaign for them. O&M releases a "funny" video showing a guy in a wheelchair getting run over. The healthcare industry is appalled and says, "that's really offensive...we're going with another company...Dodge would never stoop so low."

The reality of business is that Ford would then try to court those people back as customers, either through pricing, benefits, a profuse apology, some sort of public relations act (donation to a charity), etc...

Or....they could choose not to. If their sales dip, C'est la vie. They had an opportunity to turn things around and they chose to sit on their hands. Or they could issue a press release and say, "we had nothing to do with this; to show how much we truly do care, we've decided to donate five ambulances to rural areas. We care about these people and would never be so callous...please accept our apologies."

And...now they've gone from a "public relations nightmare" to a "public relations success."

People buy products because they're good products, but also because they respect the brand. That includes the ideology of the company.

Companies are inherently selfish vehicles. They exist to provide a living for their employees and profits for the investors and corporate brass. So why do they donate to charities? Because it's a good public relations move for both their consumers and [to a certain extent] their own workforce.

They're selling themselves. As such, there's no extortion. There's only an incentive for them to establish a good relationship with their cat-loving public.

As for a petition (which is the act that would probably be compared to extortion) -- I started off suggesting that because I think that videos such as this encourage people who are abusers or apathetic about animals to begin with. Since I feel it encourages or reinforces callous attitudes, I think there's a certain responsibility on the part of the company to make amends.

Now CERTAINLY, a video like this *doesn't* make someone an abuser or abuse animals, but I think it's just another drop of water in a big lake of anti-animal attitudes.
post #24 of 31
Incidentally -- regarding that last part -- an acquaintance who thought this video was very funny happens to be a person who decided to mock me last year when I was trying to get some donations for TNR and kitten adoptions. He's also someone that likes to joke about shooting animals. It's kind of sad that these people use such "jokes" as a reinforcement of their own bad attitudes towards animals, but I truly think they do.
post #25 of 31
Personally I think the more attention this gets, the more likely we are to see similar ads in the future.

Word of mouth has always been the best form of advertising...and the cheapest.

The most effective campaign would be to get people to threaten to boycott ford for their potential advert campaign, with a single demand: A public apology and commitment to not sensationalize pain/suffering in future ad campaigns. There should be no demand for any form of monetary compensation, that's tantamount to bribery IMO.

It was a poor choice, if they continue to make these choices then their customer base will dwindle (significantly? unlikely, but a sale is still a sale).

The sad part is that it is human nature to find suffering/pain to be funny. Just watch America’s funniest home videos once...you have all sorts of calamities, where people obviously got hurt...and society finds this amusing?

Compensation through buying incentives or otherwise is simply bribery. A public apology, and a commitment to preventing similar instance from happening in the future...that means something. Too many people are finding that they can bribe their way out of trouble. What kind of precedent are we setting by encouraging ford to buy their way out of trouble?

post #26 of 31

I should say - for the record, I was probably overzealous with going the "petition for $1 million" route.... LOL.... I would rephrase that now if I could.

My feeling was moreso that it would be good PR for Ford to do something proactive for the animal community to show that they actually cared more than lip service...

I get a bit annoyed at this stuff, because I feel like it reinforces and mean attitudes already present in society.
post #27 of 31
Originally Posted by Scott77777
...I get a bit annoyed at this stuff, because I feel like it reinforces and mean attitudes already present in society.
Couldn't agree with you more!

This is why I would not be satisfied with anything other than an apology and commitment to avoid this style of advertising in the future.

post #28 of 31
i'm ashamed to say my husband and I both own fords. i have a mustang and he has an f150. Don't know about him, but I'll never be able to buy another Ford without thinking about this....
post #29 of 31
Not seeing a commercial to reinforce someone's depraved behavior isn't going to stop animal crueilty, only arrest warrants, handcuffs and spending the next 10 years as another man's "wife" in a state prison will do that.

My point is, sure, Ford is going to have to kiss some major butt to get past this one, but the commercial was never aired and who knows, this ad campaign might never have gone on the air anyway.

You're punishing Ford for someone else's lame-brained idea, now have Ford gone ahead with it and stood by it, then I'd have a problem with them.

As far as your aquaintence goes, if he's bragging about shooting animals, I'd start asking animal hospitals and law enforcement if there have been unsolved cases of animal shootings. If someone is dumb enough to talk about it, they might just be dumb enough to do it.
As far as his ridicule goes, on him!
post #30 of 31
I'm going to join the conspiracy theorists and say that Ford probably knew about it or allowed it to be released.

I work in photography, and although my focus isn't commercial projects, I do work on them occasionally. Whenever I've done a commercial project, there was always an art director, company rep, or someone along the line who had to approve layouts, approve the direction, etc... I believe O&M has enough money and staff to generate this sort of thing on their own without Ford's oversight, but I find it hard to swallow that someone in a position of responsibility was completely ignorant of the whole thing.

Where did they film the car? Who gave them the car? Where did they get the footage? Ford didn't provide it for them? They must have, and if they did, then they must have had an idea about the direction of the shoot as well. Or did they just hand a car to O&M with a blank check and say, "here's the car, the budget is open, we trust whatever direction you want to take the campaign -- just call us when you're done?" I can't believe that.

The digital work may have been done at someone's desk, but somebody had to know about the setup.
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