Hyundai has apologised over a viral advertisement for its ix35 SUV that features a man attempting to commit suicide.
The controversial commercial, which was removed from YouTube after attracting widespread criticism, shows a man trying to pump exhaust gases into his car before he emerges unharmed and the punch line, “The new ix35 with 100 per cent water emissions”, appears on screen.
In a statement, Hyundai explained the 60-second spot was created by an affiliate advertising agency of Hyundai UK, Innocean Europe, without the manufacturer’s approval.
“Hyundai Motor deeply and sincerely apologises for the offensive viral ad,” the statement reads.
“The ad was created by an affiliate advertising agency, Innocean Europe, without Hyundai’s request or approval. It runs counter to our values as a company and as members of the community.
“We are very sorry for any offence or distress the video caused. More to the point, Hyundai apologises to those who have been personally impacted by tragedy.”
Hyundai’s US division was also quick to distance itself from the advertisement in a statement.
“We at Hyundai Motor America are shocked and saddened by the depiction of a suicide attempt in an inappropriate UK video featuring a Hyundai.
“Suicide merits thoughtful discussion, not this type of treatment.”
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