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Audi has taken to Twitter to issue a three part apology for this post, where a young girl leaning on an Audi car is eating a banana. The kicker is the copy, which reads: "Lets your heart beat faster – in every aspect."
Some readers saw sexual innuendo in this headline combined with the banana. Someone even commented that it's a "phallic symbol in the hands of a little girl", while others wondered why a girl is eating in the driveway, and not in the kitchen. I'll assume that person never had kids. And this is why we don't eat bananas in public, get your minds out of the gutter, people.
— AudiOfficial (@AudiOfficial) August 2, 2020
Audi's three-part apology promised the ad wouldn't be used again, but it also hasn't been removed.
"We hear you and let’s get this straight: We care for children. The Audi RS 4 is a family car with more than thirty driver assistance systems including an emergency break system. That’s why we showcased it with various family members for the campaign. (1/3)"
We hoped we could convey these messages, showing that even for the weakest traffic participants it is possible to relaxingly lean on the RS technology. That was a mistake! Audi never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings. (2/3)
We sincerely apologize for this insensitive image and ensure that it will not be used in future. We will also immediately examine internally, how this campaign has been created and if control mechanisms failed in this case. (3/3)
Some commenters rushed to Audi's defense, notng that the act of eating a banana isn't a "perverse sexual display", and someone else commented: "Anyone who sees a phallic symbol in the banana in the hand of a child should definitely see a psychiatrist."
Still, others are more concerned with the image of a child leaning against a vehicle that could easily crush them. Audi using the terms "weakest traffic participants" to describe children made it even worse. Rejoice, copywriters, on twitter people are actually reading your copy!