Korean carmaker Hyundai has issued an apology and pulled an online advertisement, following a backlash over its content.
The hugely insensitive viral video, which was shot with high production values, depicts a man attempting to commit suicide in his Hyundai iX35, only to be thwarted by the car’s emission-less fuel cell technology.
Unsurprisingly the advert has offended a large percentage of viewers and prompted London based advertising executive Holly Brockwell to write an emotional open letter to the manufacturer and to Innocean, the agency who dreamt up the film.
“When your ad started to play, and I saw the beautifully-shot scenes of taped-up car windows with exhaust feeding in, I began to shake. I shook so hard that I had to put down my drink before I spilt it. And then I started to cry,” wrote Holly on her online blog, which has since received thousands of visitors.
"Surprisingly, when I reached the conclusion of your video, where we see that the man has in fact not died thanks to Hyundai's clean emissions, I did not stop crying,” the letter continues.
"I did not suddenly feel that my tears were justified by your amusing message. I just felt empty. And sick. And I wanted my dad."
Hyundai has since apologised and has stated that it “deeply and sincerely apologises for the offensive viral video.”
"The video was created by an affiliate advertising agency, Innocean Europe, without Hyundai's request or approval,” the statement adds.
"It runs counter to our values as a company and as members of the community. We are very sorry for any offense or distress the video caused.
"More to the point, Hyundai apologises to those who have been personally impacted by tragedy. Hyundai Motor UK has had no involvement with the video."
Innocean has also released a statement of apology and has offered assurances that the video will not be seen again.
April 29, 2013