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4 Aug, 2020 20:01

‘Sexually suggestive’ or ‘get your mind out of the gutter’? Audi banana girl ad yanked after bizarre controversy

‘Sexually suggestive’ or ‘get your mind out of the gutter’? Audi banana girl ad yanked after bizarre controversy

After a social media outcry, Audi has pulled an ad showing a little girl eating a banana while leaning on a car. Those objecting remarked on everything from her pose to the ‘phallic’ fruit. Others pronounced it perfectly innocent.

The German car company publicly retracted the ad on Monday, after an outbreak of pearl-clutching online, issuing a groveling apology on Twitter and promising to get to the bottom of “how this campaign has been created and if control mechanisms failed.

We hear you, and let’s get this straight: we care for children," Audi tweeted, adding that it “sincerely apologize[d] for this insensitive image.”

The advert featured a little girl in sunglasses, denim jacket, and print dress holding a partially peeled banana while leaning against the grille of a red Audi sports car. It was tagged with the slogan “Lets your heart beat faster – in every aspect.”

The child’s stance appeared to gently mock the ubiquitous ‘cool-dude’ photos of shades-sporting men and their roadsters. The ad was part of a campaign showing various members of a family posing with the same red car. 

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However, with humor having been beaten within an inch of its life by the wokeness pandemic, many on social media saw the ad as promoting child endangerment: a driver in the car wouldn’t be able to see the pint-sized girl, so might run her over (no matter that the vehicle is clearly parked), to say nothing of the environmental irresponsibility of advertising a – horror of horrors! – gas-powered vehicle in the first place.

Many accused Audi of promoting pedophilia.

I see a pedophile ad here. And child abuse,” diagnosed one German poster, calling the ad “disgusting and reprehensible.”

Others agreed, likening the girl pictured to the “half-naked women posed on the hood” of sportscars past and even implying that ads featuring fully clothed young women posing with sportscars were somehow nefarious.

But others defended Audi, pointing out that there was nothing overtly sexual about the ad, and proposed that those who saw it as suggestive “seek help and stay away from children.” 

People creating imaginary problems to solve because they’re so mentally and emotionally stunted, they can’t handle real ones,” another user opined.

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