The ad agency responsible for the Ford ad mock-ups that caused an uproar last week has fired some of the employees involved.
The website Ads of the World reportedly posted several Ford ad mock-ups online last week, including one depicting former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with three bound women and another depicting Paris Hilton kidnapping the Kardashian sisters, who were also tied up. The fake ads, which originated in India, sparked outrage in the country, which has been grappling with a series of gang-rape cases and just passed a new anti-rape law.
Ad agency J. Walter Thompson (JWT), the ad agency responsible for the ad mock-ups, told The Huffington Post in a statement Wednesday that it has fired some of its employees in response. Ford spokesman Chris Preuss also confirmed to HuffPost that JWT fired the "employees involved."
"After a thorough internal review, we have taken appropriate disciplinary action with those involved, which included the exit of employees at JWT," a JWT spokesperson said in a statement. "These were necessary steps owing to the direct accountability of the concerned individuals as we work to ensure that both the right oversight and processes are strictly enforced so that this never happens again."
"We deeply regret the publishing of posters that were distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency at JWT," the JWT spokesperson added. "These were never intended for paid publication, were never requested by our Ford client and should never have been created, let alone uploaded to the internet. These posters were created by individuals within the agency and did not go through the normal review and oversight process."
Ford also apologized, telling the Associated Press the mock-ups were "contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford." Ford told Ad Age that it has no plans to stop doing business with JWT.
The Kardashians' attorney said in a statement that "they are exploring all of their legal options" and that the ads are "disgusting, vile and offensive to all women."
The full ad mock-up featuring Berlusconi is below: