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Volkswagen drop legal action after bomb ad apology

Volkswagen has said it will not be taking legal action against the creators of the Polo suicide bomber ad after they apologised and promised not to repeat it. The ad was created by the team of Lee and Dan, whose names are Lee Ford and Dan Brooks, and was only a spec ad meant for their showreel. However, the power of the internet soon meant that it was being watched by thousands of people, and questions were being raised over whether the spot had been sanctioned by Volkswagen as a viral push. The ad plays on the established tagline for Volkswagen's Polo model: "Small but tough". It shows a man in fatigues setting off in his Polo. He arrives outside a restaurant and pulls out a trigger. However, when he detonates the bomb, a flash is seen inside the car but the car itself does not explode. The strapline appears again at the end. After Lee and Dan were misreported to have said the spot cost £40,000 to produce, speculation grew that it was an attempt by Volkswagen to create some viral publicity for the car. This has been vehemently denied by the carmaker and led to it beginning legal proceedings against Lee and Dan -- a step the company said that it did not take lightly. Now Brooks and Ford have signed sworn statements admitting that they created the film and that Volkswagen had no input whatsoever in its creation. They have also admitted the film is libellous and that it infringed VW's trademark rights, and apologised to the public and the company. Volkswagen will not pursue any further action on the grounds of libel nor trademark infringement. Related new stories are in the archive here and here.

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