Hyundai apologized and pulled an ad that portrayed a man trying to commit suicide by running his automobile in a closed garage.
The one-minute video was made by a German ad agency, and brought to the attention of CNET by a woman whose father had committed suicide by that method.
In a statement, Hyundai Motor Europe said, “Hyundai Motor deeply and sincerely apologizes for the offensive viral film. The film 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.”
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The video advertises the new hydrogen-powered Hyundai ix35 cars, which have 100 percent water emissions.
In the ad, a middle-aged man breathes in what appears to be car exhaust fumes in his car that is parked in a garage. But hours later and without any words, he emerges from the garage. The words displayed at the end of the ad are: “The New ix35 With 100% Water Emissions.”
At least one commentator on YouTube pointed out the effectiveness of the advertisement’s message.
“I know how controversial this advert is becoming and whether you agree with it or not it’s worked,” the comment read. “You cannot deny that. The job is done and everyone now knows about the new Hyundai with 100 percent water emissions. Advertising at its best.”