11 Advertising Campaigns That Backfired Spectacularly


Ford: Print backlash

In 2017, the news and headlines were dominated by the shocking accusations of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement.

In such a context, Ford released an ad that depicted three women who were bound, gagged, and locked in the trunk of their new Ford hatchback. Really, Ford? We would have loved to be able to attend the marketing meeting where such an ad was approved.

It goes without saying that the ad was pulled from airing and Ford representatives had to issue a public apology for such a campaign that critics called offensive, misogynistic and encouraging violence against women.

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1 thought on “11 Advertising Campaigns That Backfired Spectacularly”

  1. That McDonalds ad was not at all objectionable. In brief for those who haven’t seen it, a boy (maybe 10 or 11 years old) is asking his mom about his dead father. He is not bereaved, he does not even remember his father who died long ago. His mom points out a number of things in describing him. Each time, the thing about the dad is different than the son. (Sharp dresser, shiny shoes, good at sport, all the girls were attracted to him… while the boy notices his shirt untucked, his sneakers dirty, he kicks a soccer ball and flubs it, and some girls passing by only give him a look of disgust). But when they get to McD and he opens his fish sandwich box, his mom says ‘that was your dad’s favorite too’. For the first time he hears something he has in common with his late dad.

    Not a thing in the world wrong with that and the people who spend all their time looking for reasons to be offended should get a life. Nobody was using bereavement to sell sandwiches.


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