Audi has scrapped an advert featuring a young girl eating a banana in front of a car after it was slammed for being ‘insensitive’ and ‘provocative’.
The questionable ad was made to promote the Audi RS4, which Audi boasts as having the ‘high performance of a sports car and the functionality of a family car’.
A series of pictures on the German carmaker’s website show a couple and a young child playing in and around the car, seemingly posed in an effort to highlight its benefits as a family car. However, it’s an offshoot of this advertising campaign that caused controversy.
The ad in question shows a young girl leaning against the grille of the red Audi, wearing sunglasses and eating a banana. Audi’s post alongside the image reads, ‘Lets your heart beat faster – in every aspect.’
Social media users were quick to express their thoughts after the ad was shared, with many slamming the image for being inappropriate. Some pointed out that the advert was sexually suggestive, as both sports cars and bananas have been used in the past as symbols of male lust, and women have been known to be used as sex symbols to promote cars.
Other people have described the ad as ‘life-threatening’, pointing out that a driver would be unlikely able to see if a young child were leaning against the grille of the car, as is seen in the advert.
Following the backlash, Audi issued an apology for having published the advert and said it wouldn’t be used again – though at the time of writing, August 4, it is still live on the company’s Twitter feed.