Some ads are bad, some are very bad. Then there are those which are so misguided and wrong in every possible sense that the fact they ever get made is staggering.
Take the latest ad from Hyundai.
It (seriously) shows a man trying to commit suicide in his car, but the gag. Oh the gag. The gag is that he can't because the emissions have no carbon monoxide.
What the fuck Hyundai? Seriously. What the fuck were you thinking approving this?
This is the sort of thing that might appear in the Chip Shop Awards "Bad Taste" category, and even there it would be pushing it. I can't even bring myself to link it.
I don't care if it gets across the cleanliness of exhaust emissions, it's simply an unacceptable thing to put in an ad. For a start the whole concept is in the kind of bad taste that will seriously damage a brand, not to mention how showing suicide in this manner influences others who are thinking of taking their own lives.
You may have seen the open letter from an advertising copywriter who sadly lost her dad to this kind of suicide, while Hyundai might argue this is a relatively isolated case, there is absolutely no justifiable reason why they wouldn't have seen the hurt this ad might produce coming from a million miles away.
Hyundai and Innocean need to seriously reconsider their approval processes, because whilst I'm sure they meant no harm, their work has clearly caused at least one person a LOT of distress, and many many others to be horrified at what has appeared. I would like to think that they haven't done this deliberately as a means of getting publicity, but in the event they have, please just use nudity or violence like everyone else next time. Besides, all you've done is make the name Hyundai synonymous with uncaring, exactly the opposite of what you should be getting across with such environmentally friendly features.
Who approved the initial idea? Who let that idea go to the client? Who approved it? Who produced it? Who filmed it? All of these people should have spoken up and raised questions.
What I find even more astounding, are those people who responded to the above letter by saying that the author should 'get over it', or even insulting the person she lost. This kind of heartless bullshit has no place in modern society, and those who responded in such a way should be ashamed.
Hyundai and Innocean, you owe at least one person a HUGE apology, and you owe it to yourselves to never let this happen again. More work like this and you will destroy the reputation of your brand.