Courtesy of Huffington Post, we get word of this Kia of Brazil (?) advertising campaign that won a silver at the Cannes Creativity Awards.
Okay, then. One side is kiddish, and the other side is adult. Dual themes of the same scene. But in the prince-rescues-princess sample, there are no hints at something untoward. Not so with the ad way up above, where at the very least, it seems to be promoting the idea of teachers and students becoming sexually involved. At worst, it inserts the very icky suggestion that an adult figure might look at young and innocent schoolgirl as a sex object.
Frankly, I can't imagine this fitting in with the old adage that there's no such thing as bad press. It's one thing to sell sex (and loads of people say they're offended by that, but it always manages to get attention), but it's another to seem to pander to pedophiliac proclivities. Really, even if that was not the intent of the ad creators, it's such an obvious conclusion for just about any reader, and I can't see how Kia can get out of this without distancing itself from this ad and apologizing. That is, if this news gains traction.
Prompted by a comment from gbnhj at The Marmot's Hole, I went looking for news that Kia had denied they had anything to do with this ad campaign. At this site I found a denial by Kia:
Kia Motors America (KMA) has become aware of an offensive piece of advertising material that was created by an ad agency in Brazil that KMA has no business relationship with and has never worked with. This ad was not created in the U.S. by Kia Motors America or any of its marketing partners and does not reflect the opinions or values of KMA or Kia Motors Corporation. The ad is undoubtedly inappropriate, and on behalf of Kia Motors we apologize to those who have been offended by it. We can guarantee this advertisement has never and will never be used in any form in the United States, and our global headquarters in Seoul, South Korea is addressing the issue with the independent Brazilian distributor.That site says the advertising company broke the rules by submitting an ad campaign that was not actually run, and they appear likely to get the prestigious award yanked. In an earlier posting, they had harsh words for Kia, along with some interesting background on other award-winning ads' boorishness (see below for an example involving Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in a Reporters Without Borders advert, with the caption, "Censorship tells the wrong story").