LONDON — Carmaker Nissan has found itself in hot water across the Gulf over an ad for its Nissan Tiida that featured Arab oil sheiks physically attacking the car for its energy efficiency.
The TV spot, which was developed by Israeli-based Nissan distributor Pacific Auto Distributors, shows one sheik so incensed by the car’s performance that he jumps on its hood, swears at it and accuses it of destroying his home.
The ad was subsequently broadcast on Arab TV channels, leading to calls for a boycott of Nissan cars from incensed Arab viewers.
Nissan execs subsequently pulled the ad from Arab nets and issued an apology.
“The campaign — which was intended to demonstrate the fuel economy benefits of the Nissan Tiida — was developed under the sole creative and editorial control of Pacific Auto Distributors,” read the Nissan statement. “This campaign does not reflect the global direction of Nissan in terms of product or brand creative execution. Nissan Motor Co. has requested Pacific Auto Distributors to cease immediately any further use of this campaign and commit that no further campaigns will be developed using the same creative direction.”