Audi was recently accused of running an “insensitive” campaign for the Audi RS4 Avant. The German car manufacturer shared a photo of a girl leaning against the car grille eating a banana. However, it has caused a strong backlash. People were so offended that Audi was forced to take the photo down and issue a public apology.
Audi first tweeted the photo with a caption “Lets your heart beat faster – in every aspect.”
And then, the Karens spoke up. “So, let your heart beat faster in every aspect? Picture of – child with banana in mouth and flash car – so wrong in EVERY aspect,” one Twitter user wrote. Another user over-analyzed every single detail of the image: “I don’t get 3 things together: 1. Sports cars stand for potency. 2. Why does a little girl in a short big cat dress (symbol for eroticism) stand in front of such a potency substitute and 3. Why does she have a banana (phallus symbol) in hand?” And I thought I was over-analytical. Probably my favorite comment is this one: “Little girl with phallic symbol in hand. Sure, great…” I don’t know, dude, where I live we see bananas as food.
Another aspect of this fierce criticism pointed out to the girl being in a dangerous position. “When I saw the photo of the child, my heart lurched. I have drummed into my children NEVER to stand in front of or behind a car as you may not be seen,” one Twitter user wrote, wondering if any parents were involved in the design. Personally, I find this sensible. If nothing else, it certainly has more sense than seeing a child eating a banana as anything else than that.
Apparently, there were so many people who were disturbed by a little girl eating a banana that Audi had to pull the photo and issue an apology:
“We hear you and let’s get this straight: We care for children. The Audi RS 4 is a family car with more than thirty driver assistance systems including an emergency [brake] system. That’s why we showcased it with various family members for the campaign.
We hoped we could convey these messages, showing that even for the weakest traffic participants it is possible to relaxingly lean on the RS technology. That was a mistake! Audi never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings.
We sincerely apologize for this insensitive image and ensure that it will not be used in [the] future. We will also immediately examine internally, how this campaign has been created and if control mechanisms failed in this case.”
We hear you and let’s get this straight: We care for children. The Audi RS 4 is a family car with more than thirty driver assistance systems including an emergency break system. That’s why we showcased it with various family members for the campaign. (1/3)
— AudiOfficial (@AudiOfficial) August 3, 2020
Even the apology received some criticism, but some people were on Audi’s side. “This is a society where people ‘complained’ that an Audi advert was too ‘provocative’ for showing a little 4 year old girl dressed in a cute fashionable dress and shades, eating a banana happily. Shouldn’t those ‘complainers’ have their hard drives checked?” one user wrote. Another user argued: “If you look at a picture like this and automatically see something sexual I’d argue that it is YOU with a sick mind…”
This is a society where people"complained" that an Audi advert was too "provocative" for showing a little 4byear old girl dressed in a cute fashionable dress and shades, eating a banana happily. Shouldn't those "complainers" have their hard drives checked?
— Trisha (@TrishaG52236432) September 15, 2020
An image of a little girl eating a banana in an Audi ad has received lots of criticism. If you look at a picture like this and automatically see something sexual I'd argue that it is YOU with a sick mind…
— Chad 🇪🇺 🌈 (@Chadderbox2018) August 5, 2020
Honestly, the only thing I find a little concerning about this photo is that the girl is standing in front of the car. I can’t even say why, but let’s say that it just doesn’t look safe. Other than that, I only see an adorable little girl eating a banana. Since when did eating a banana become a sexual act? I think that if you see something sexual in a child eating a banana, it’s therapy time. But that’s just me.
What do you think about this? Did Audi go over the top? Or was it the public that went too far with the criticism?