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As it turns out, Kia‘s inappropriately sexy ads that spread like wildfire through the blogosphere just a few weeks ago, weren’t Kia ads at all.
Designed to help loosely deliver the message that the Korean automaker now has a dual-zone climate control system (showing two sides to the same story), the print ads drew plenty of attention and a firestorm of criticism for some rather creepy implications.
Moma Propaganda, the agency behind the two ads, which took home two Lions awards from the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is now being stripped of its honors and banned from participating in next year’s competition. The agency failed to submit proof that it had been hired by Kia Motors Brazil for the ads; a rather obvious hint that it never had been. As a result, two Lions awards have been retracted
This isn’t the first time awards have been revoked for fake ads, a tactic used to launch a relatively unknown agency into the spotlight. Taking more decisive action, however, this is the first time individuals have been banned from competing in the future. The ban extends only to next year and only to the five individuals listed as being involved in the sexy Kia ad scandal.