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When Is An Ad Not An AD?

Volkswagen is up in arms over a bogus TV ad that has gone viral on the internet.

Here is the ad that purports to be a genuine ad that is going to air in Ireland and the UK.

Whilst it is quite clever, and in the genre of VW advertising, it is far too provocative and racially offensive to pass all the regulationary codes.

In fact it was produced by a creative commercial TV outfit who speculatively presented it to Volkswagen’s advertising agency. They, of course, rejected it as highly inappropriate. But somehow it got onto the internet under the guise of an official VW ad, and has gone viral.

According to the VW PR people, they are extremely annoyed and have commenced legal action against the perpetrators. Still, to the average person, us included, when you get the email it seems authentic….so, how do you find out it isn’t? Well, we simply Googled the titles to find out it was a con, but most people wouldn’t.

We reckon this is a dangerous trendsetter, but how can you overcome it?


  1. David says:

    Cynics would say that VW are making a big show of being outraged but really it’s a deliberate ploy.

    It has been done before… They like the ad, they feel it could go viral but accept that it’s too risqué. So the video gets ‘leaked’ on YouTube via the ad agency….

    I think Ford did the same with this ad

    April 14th, 2012 at 8:05 am