Skip to main content

Kia gets in big trouble with suggestive Brazilian ad

Kia is reeling after an ad submitted to the Cannes Lions festival by the Korean automaker's Brazilian subsidiary is accused of promoting pedophilia.

Kia has been met with a sudden PR disaster, as a suggestive ad created for Kia's Brazilian arm were submitted to the Cannes Lions advertising festival in France. The ad, which placed two comic strips next to each other, showed a family-friendly scene of a male teacher helping a young female child with her studies on one side while the other side showed a scene of presumably the same teacher being seduced by an adult version of the same student, meant to portray the difference in settings on the Kia Sportage SUV's dual-zone climate control. Instead, the ad has spawned enormous controversy, being accused of promoting sexual promiscuity and pedophilia.

Kia North America, who has asserted their independence from Kia Motors do Brazil in both press releases and on their social media outlets, is catching a lot of heat as many protesters are posting on Kia's Facebook and Twitter pages that the ad was approved by Kia's global parent company and that Kia Motors America is therefore guilty by association. "Neither Kia Motors America nor Kia Motors Corporation produced the ad but we want to assure you that our corporate headquarters is looking into the matter and addressing the issue with related parties," said Kia on their Facebook page in response to angry fans. "We can guarantee this advertisement has never and will never be used in any form in the United States," Kia also said in a press statement.

Kia Motors Corporation spokesman Michael Choo said "We can ensure that these ads have not been run in public other than being submitted for the Cannes Lions competition and that they will not appear in any public forum in the future." Kia Motors was listed as the client of the ad agency Moma Propaganda, who produced the ad, according to the Cannes Lions website. The ad won a silver medal at the Cannes Lions festival.

Source: Automotive News