Moma created an ad for Kia that won Silver in Cannes Lions this year, and literally everyone the croisette were talking about it as "the pedophile ad". What brand in their right mind would ever approve that? Kia motors now say they didn't. Will the lion have to be sent back now?
Trouble is, it's Kia Motors America that are denying this ad - we've seen this before. Remember Clio winning WWF 9/11? Remember Bic® Tipp-Ex twin towers? Remember all the ads I've been asked to remove by US brand people that were created by agencies in far off lands? Well I do. Top ten are here.
Kia's U.S. arm issued a statement Friday denouncing the ads and distancing itself from Kia Motors do Brazil.
"We can guarantee this advertisement has never and will never be used in any form in the United States, and our global headquarters in Seoul, South Korea is addressing the issue with the independent Brazilian distributor," KMA said in a statement.
Kia has responded to individual posts on Facebook and Twitter, explaining that it had no hand in the ad.
"We're doing everything we can to inform consumers and the media that this was not a Kia Motors America-sanctioned ad, and like the American consumers, we find it totally offensive and inappropriate," said Michael Sprague, KMA's vice president of marketing and communications. "Through our social media sites, through our dealers, members of the media and our employees, we are communicating as much as we can to get the word out that this did not come from us."
On the Cannes Lions website, Moma Propaganda of Brazil is listed as the ad agency and Kia Motors is listed as the client.
Kia Motors Corp. spokesman Michael Choo said in an e-mail late Saturday that the ads were only submitted to the Cannes Lions contest and not used in an actual advertising campaign.
"The ads in question were created by a local agency in Brazil without the knowledge of either global HQ nor KMA," Choo said. "We have received confirmation that these ads were never published nor were there any plans to run a campaign based on these creatives in Brazil or anywhere else for that matter. 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."