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Toyota apologises for ‘sexist’ ad; Creator says ‘Suck my dick’

Car company Toyota has apologised for its involvement with a controversial ad featuring a young man swapping innuendo-laden banter with a father about sleeping with his daughter. However, the creative who wrote the winning script remained defiant, telling Mumbrella, critics could “suck my dick”.

Toyota issued “a holding statement” seeking to distance itself from the video, which was selected as the winner of a film-making competition organised on the car maker’s behalf by ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi. It said:

“Toyota Australia today apologised for the inappropriate content and offence caused by a video submitted as part of a film competition to demonstrate social media credentials.

“The video, posted on Youtube, was one of 32 entries into the film competition organised by one agency. Immediately upon receiving negative feedback, at Toyota’s direction, the video was removed from a third-party website on Sunday.

“Toyota understands and accepts that the content of the video was offensive.”

As Mumbrella revealed on Sunday, the video was selected by a jury made up of Saatchi & Saatchi and Toyota representatives as the winner of its Clever Film Comp.

Saatchi & Saatchi’s competition was one of five social media projects being carried out by different agencies in a contest to win Toyota’s social media account.

The director of the ad, Frazer Bailey of Brisbane’s Play TV, told Mumbrella: “I’m genuinely upset that we’ve offended people. It was just a piece for people to have a giggle at.” Bailey shot the ad after being sent the script by creative Micha McDonald. Bailey added: “Not every0ne has the same sense of humour. Micha sent me the script and I laughed. My mum read it and she laughed so I thought maybe there’s some benefit to it.”

All the team involved in the shoot worked for free. Bailey said: “After the competition I just thought it would go on my showreel and just be seen by a few few advertising creatives. It’s really between Toyota and Saatchis. I really don’t want to upset them.”

However McDonald – who is currently freelancing at The Foundry in Sydney – took a more robust stance. In a comment posted on the Mumbrella story he said:

“Yeah – It’s getting totally SLAMMED by everyone – But that’s exactly what we wanted it to do. Basically we put a $60,000 production behind a 1 minute dodgy ‘Dick Joke’ that looks like an actual ad – and it WON. That’s social media 4 ya – Gotta love it when the big boys get burnt!! If anyone is offended by this I’m truly sorry – and suck my dick.”

He told Mumbrella that he had been amazed the story had received the large degree of coverage it has. He said: “It was a TVC that we knew never could run on TV. We never dreamed people would take it seriously. it’s just a bit of fun. It’s just a joke.”

The coverage included prominent coverage on The Punch where David Penberthy wrote:

“The people at Toyota have besmirched their brand with this squalid effort which revolves around a creepy play on words in which a father discusses her daughter’s virginity and sexual prowess with her young boyfriend. It almost defies belief that a major company would associate itself with this garbage.”

Other coverage:

Coverage has also started to spread internationally tonight, with the UK’s Times reporting:

“It probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Hold an online competition for a short film promoting a car sold mainly to young women, then launch the winning film onto social network sites, sit back and watch the car fly out the doors.”

And the UK’s Daily Telegraph is also now reporting the story.

Meanwhile, Toyota spokesman Mike Breen said that no decision had been taken on whether the video would remain as the winner of its competition. Bailey said that he had not yet received the $7000 first prize.

Saatchi & Saatchi did not respond to Mumbrella’s request for a comment.

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