Hyundai to pull controversial suicide ad

Hyundai will pull a controversial ad which depicts a man committing suicide in his car, after a fierce backlash on social media.

The video ad, created by Innocean Worldwide Europe, has attracted criticism on social media over its “insensitive” portrayal of suicide to promote its iX35 vehicle.

The ad shows a man taping a hose pipe to the exhaust of the car after deciding to take his life, only to survive thanks to the clean emissions technology in the car.

A spokeswoman for Hyundai in the UK told Marketing Week the ads will no longer run, but could not add any further detail. The brand was preparing an official statement at the time of writing. Innocean Worldwide were not available for comment.

Advertising blogger Holly Brockwell drew attention to the ad in an open letter to the car brand on the blog Copybot.

A spokesperson for Hyundai said: ‘Hyundai understands that the video has caused offence. We apologize unreservedly. The video has been taken down and will not be used in any of our advertising or marketing.’

The ad comes just weeks after Ford India was forced to apologise for a series of ads that appeared to show Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi with women bound and gagged in the boot of the car.

The Ford ads, created by JWT India were never used by the brand.

Updated with official Hyundai statement. (8:30am 26 April)