French car manufacturer Renault is in hot water this week after their recent minicar ad was pulled from YouTube for its “offensive and sexualized images.” In the video, which has since been reuploaded, English drivers are seen test driving Renault’s Clio, and after pressing a button in the car, they are transported into a stereotypical French scene complete with baguettes, cafes and scantily clad women. In the final scenes of the video, the car is surrounded by burlesque dancers whose exposed breasts and sexy dance moves are too much for the male driver, who declares, “Whew, I don’t know if I can drive now.”
The ad was viewed 3 million times before it was yanked by the Advertising Standards Authority who received complaints that the commercial was offensive and sexualized women. The ASA stated, “We considered that the ad objectified the dancers by portraying them as sexual objects and that it was therefore likely to cause serious or widespread offence.”
Renault UK has since responded saying that the ad was a parody of French culture and that the dancers were a reference to Moulin Rouge and not meant to be offensive. The Clio commercial is not the first controversial commercial Renault has produced; in 2010, the car manufacturer raised eyebrows after releasing an ad that portrayed two girls in a steamy bedroom romp that was intended to promote their Twingo Mini Cooper car.
In other news: