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Wait…So JWT Entered Sexually Offensive Ford Ads in India’s Top Awards Show? – MMXLII

Wait…So JWT Entered Sexually Offensive Ford Ads in India’s Top Awards Show?

And the plot thickens: yesterday we reported about the backlash Ford and JWT had received for the offensive ads featuring Silvio Berlusconi and some kidnapped women in a Ford Figo. Well today we learned that the agency JWT tried to enter these ads for an award show.

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JWT India entered the now-infamous Ford Figo poster ads in India’s leading Goafest Abby ad awards, and tried to withdraw them last Friday in the middle of the judging after controversy erupted outside India over the sexually offensive ads.

The posters, showing women bound and gagged in the trunk of a Ford Figo hatchback, drew international condemnation when they were uploaded to the website Ads of the World, and both JWT and Ford quickly apologized. Neither mentioned that the ads, including a letter of approval from the client, had been entered at Goafest by a senior JWT India executive.

Goafest official Shashi Sinha told Ad Age in an interview that the WPP owned shop called festival officials on Friday in an effort to remove the Ford Figo ads from the judging and followed up, as required, with a request in writing from the executive who had entered the work. That person was identified to them as Bobby Pawar, the chief creative officer and managing partner of JWT India.

Mr. Pawar, a well-known creative in India, is one of two executives JWT referred to but didn’t name in an earlier statement saying “After a thorough internal review, we have taken appropriate disciplinary action with those involved, which included the exit of employees at JWT.”

Mr. Pawar’s LinkedIn profile states that he has been at JWT since January 2012, but has in the past held roles at the Indian offices of several major global agencies. He was previously chief creative officer of DDB Mudra Group, group creative director at Energy BBDO and senior partner and creative director at Ogilvy & Mather. He started his career at Ogilvy in 1995.

According to multiple executives familiar with the matter, Vijay Simha, whose LinkedIn profile describes him as “VP and senior creative director at Global Team Ford at JWT” was the other person who was fired. His resume includes stops at Grey Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Not only has the Ford scandal been a ding to JWT India’s reputation, it’s also now leaving the agency without senior creative and account leadership, since these executives… [Read Full Article HERE]

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