Kia’s Kiddie Porn Ads Will Not Appear In The US, But What About Elsewhere?

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The car company Kia had some very questionable ads surface in France after they were awarded the Silver Lion award at the Cannes ad festival. In an effort to convey the two “degrees” of Kia cars, the advertising company Moma depicts both a PG storyline along side an adult interpretation. The company has since denied that they had any knowledge of the ads and that they have no intention of running them in the United States. But their statement to the press suggests that it is somehow acceptable to run them in other countries.

According to BNET, the company released the following:

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.

When considering how much press statements get poured over, it’s evident that the company is being very precise in what they’re willing to explain about the pedophilic ads. Although American audiences may never look up from a freeway onramp and see these images, the possibility that people in other countries might has not been squashed with this statement. Given the obvious pedophilic nature of the ads, it goes almost without saying that no one, regardless of country, should be viewing them. The fact that these advertisements were rewarded for the blatant sexualization of children is horrendous enough, but Kia’s tiptoeing around their placement suggests that they are not entirely horrified by the ads themselves because they may perhaps be used elsewhere.

Another creepy tidbit by noted feminist and girls’ issues writer, Peggy Orenstein reveals that the president of the Cannes jury, Tony Granger of Y&R, handles advertising for many other children’s brands. Y&R handles advertising for many Mattel products (“Just Like You” American Girl dolls, Polly Pocket, Disney Princess, High School Musical, Beauty Cuties, Radica computer games, Holly Hobby) and Toys’R’Us, and  Colgate-Palmolive.

Orenstein is very outspoken against the company and is encouraging all people, parents and childless alike, to speak out against the sexualizing ads. Boys and girls matter everywhere, not just in the United States. Putting these ads up anywhere is a clear violation of children and their safety.