Hyundai apologizes for ix35 ad depicting a failed suicide attempt

Article by Anita Panait, on April 26, 2013

Hyundai Motor Co. issued an apology for a commercial spot created by Innocean Europe showing a failed suicide attempt with a Hyundai ix35 crossover. Innocean, owned by Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo and his daughter, created a commercial spot for use in the United Kingdom that depicts a man trying to commit suicide in his Hyundai ix35, the European version of the Hyundai Tucson sold in the United States.

The man failed since the crossover did not produce any harmful emissions. According to Hyundai, it did not request or approve the ad, and has removed the video from YouTube after it received heavy criticism on social media.

In one of the statements it released, Hyundai said it “deeply and sincerely apologizes for the offensive viral ad.” The South Korean carmaker said the ad runs counter to their values as a company and as members of the community. It said that it was very sorry for any offense or distress caused by the video. Hyundai offered apologies to those who have been “personally impacted by tragedy.”

The ad is developed for the fuel-cell version of the Hyundai ix35, which the carmaker unveiled at the Geneva auto show in March. Hyundai also plans to sell the crossover in the US. In March 2013, Ford Motor Co. issued an apology for a series of unauthorized ads showing women in revealing outfits bound and gagged in the back of a Ford Figo. The ads, created by WPP Group's JWT India as an entry to a local awards show, were not intended to be part of a Ford campaign, the US carmaker said at the time. The agency also fired employees involved in creating the images.

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