Toyota withdraws award for ‘sexist’ Yaris ad and launches internal review

Toyota has deselected the controversial “Clean Getaways” video as the winner of its Yaris film making competition but has failed to say whether or not it will honour the $7,000 prize that was due to be awarded to the winning entrant.  

The Clean Getways video was part of the Saatchi & Saatchi-organised Clever Film Competition, which was the ad agency’s entry into Toyota’s live social media pitch. It is one of five social media campaigns being run for the Toyota Yaris.

But following a public backlash against the Clean Getaways ad which features a girl’s father and boyfriend having an innuendo-laden discussion about taking her virginity, Toyota pulled the video down from public view and today told Mumbrella that it has now taken it out of the competition. Originally a jury consisting of Saatchi & Saatchi and Toyota staff had declared it the winner.

Toyota spokesman Mike Breen said whether or not it will pick another winner from the Clever Film Competition is “under discussion”, with a decision to be made “over the next few days”.

He said however, the social media pitch would “continue” but could not confirm the exact timing of a decision on a winnign agency, which had originally been planned to be made about now.

Breen added: “The processes are under review for signing off any sort of information that goes into the public domain which includes the marketing department.”

The social media pitch was launched by Todd Connolly, Toyota Australia’s manager of direct marketing and social media. When an online backlash first began he told Mumbrella that Toyota stood by the film.

Breen said there were “no changes to staff” as a consequence of recent events which has seen the PR disaster reach the US and UK.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.