Volkswagen furious at Internet hoax
An advert depicting a suicide bomber blowing himself up in a VW Polo has found its way onto the Internet. The ad shows a man leaving his home, driving to a busy London restaurant and then detonating the bomb. The blast however is contained within the car saving the diners. The strap line is ‘Polo. Small but tough’.
Despite the high quality production values, real Volkswagen logo and free publicity it is attracting across the world, the commercial was not made by the car company.
In fact, the firm has expressed disgust at the spoof and are considering legal action. The concept behind the ad was to capitalise on the popularity of viral emails and it was never destined for television. It is believed to be the work of creatives Lee and Dan, who sent the ad in on spec to VW’s advertising agency DDB London.
Paul Buckett of VW asserts; “The agency wouldn’t have anything to do with it. I can only assume the people who made it put it on the web. We were horrified. This is not something we would consider using: It is in incredibly bad taste to depict suicide bombers.”
Creator Dan told the digital newsletter of media experts Brand Republic: “The ad got out accidentally and spread like wildfire. It reflected what people see in the news every day. The car is the hero that protects innocent people from someone with very bad intentions. We’re sorry if it has caused any offence.”
The hoax however marks a very worrying trend for the new phenomenon of viral emails. Bogus ads made by individuals can have a devastating effect on a firm’s reputation. Last year, Ford had to distance themselves from a viral email showing a cat’s head being cut off by a car’s sunroof.
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