Following a row regarding sexism, German car-maker Audi has apologized for an ad that was accused of being offensive toward women.
The recent ad for Audi RS 4 Avant which was shared on the car manufacturer's official Twitter handle featured a girl child dressed in a smart jacket and dress while eating a banana as she leaned on the car's bonnet.
Audi posted the ad on social media with a caption, "Let's your heart beat faster - in every aspect".
The strange poster was quick to attract anger and outrage on social media with many pointing out that the poster seemed to sexualize a child in the act of eating a banana. Many pointed out the existing sexual innuendoes that can be attributed to a banana and claimed that the poster was rather inappropriate. While some claimed that the image was "suggestive", others claimed it was "gross".
Whomever thought of the banana should be fired. Bunch of paedos at Audi? Her hands in pockets would have sufficed https://t.co/pw9A0nL40Y— Rob (@Rob79993499) August 4, 2020
Following the outrage, Audi was forced to apologise for the advertisement. The company claimed that it was not its intention to show the child in an insensitive manner but to emphasise that even a child could relax with the new Audi car.
"We hoped we could convey these messages, showing that even for the weakest traffic participants it is possible to relaxingly lean on the RS technology. That was a mistake! Audi never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings," Audi tweeted. Ita lso promised to not use the "insensitive image" in further ads and brandings.
We sincerely apologize for this insensitive image and ensure that it will not be used in future. We will also immediately examine internally, how this campaign has been created and if control mechanisms failed in this case. (3/3)— AudiOfficial (@AudiOfficial) August 3, 2020
Fans of the German carmaker and sympathizers on social media nevertheless came to the aid of Audi claiming that the viral outrage against the poster was not Audi's fault but rather a problem with the "sick" mentality of people.
This is not the first time that Audi has been called out for sexist advertising. In 2017, Audi's China office was condemned for an advertisement that compared used cars to women.