JWT India’s national creative director and managing partner Bobby Pawar has resigned following the uproar over ‘sexist’ scam ads created for the Ford Figo without client approval, uploaded online, and entered into the Creative Abby competition at Goafest 2013.
The print ads (posters) depicted international celebrities including former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in bad light, leading to global attention and criticism that the ads were sexist in nature.
Pawar confirmed his exit to Campaign India. Also exiting the agency over the episode is Vijay Simha Vellanki, creative director, Blue Hive, the WPP unit comprising JWT which handles Ford.
In a statement issued earlier, JWT India had expressed regret for the publishing of posters that were ‘distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency at JWT’.
The agency said they were not intended for publication and not commissioned by Ford, and clarified that they were created by individuals and did not go through the normal review process.
The contentious pieces of work were subsequently withdrawn from the Creative Abby competition.
It added, “After a thorough internal review, we have taken appropriate disciplinary action with those involved, which included the exit of employees at JWT. These were necessary steps owing to the direct accountability of the concerned individuals as we work to ensure that both the right oversight and processes are strictly enforced so that this never happens again.”