"Cancel Culture" Comes for Audi After RS 4 Avant Twitter Ad, Audi Apologizes

An image speaks louder than a thousand words, they say. In this particular case, Audi is apologizing that it did – because it sent the wrong message across.
Ad for Audi RS4 Avant draws criticism on Twitter, prompts apology 4 photos
Photo: Twitter / Audi Official
First 2020 Audi RS4 Avant Epic Video Shows Super-Fast, Super-Cool WagonFirst 2020 Audi RS4 Avant Epic Video Shows Super-Fast, Super-Cool WagonFirst 2020 Audi RS4 Avant Epic Video Shows Super-Fast, Super-Cool Wagon
The so-called cancel culture has come for Audi for the latest RS4 Avant ad that was posted to Twitter. It’s actually a part of an extended campaign that features all family members, and shows a little girl leaning on the front end of the wagon. The idea, in theory, makes sense: since this is a family car, it’s expected to see children around it.

In reality, though, the message comes off badly, at least according to hundreds of negative comments on the thread. The little girl is about to eat a banana, which some users have found objectionable, because these are the times we’re living in. More importantly, though, the girl is leaning against a car capable of a top speed of 174 mph (280 kph) and, for the majority of users, the combination of the two is unfathomable.

The last tweet at the bottom of the page best sums up criticism leveled against Audi for this apparently uninspired and in very bad taste ad: Audi is using a kid to sell a fast-speed car that kills kids. Or something along those lines.

Some hours after the photo was posted to social media, Audi issued a clarification and an apology. Among other things, the carmaker noted that the RS4 Avant was meant to protect even “the weakest traffic participants” like the girl in the photo, through “more than thirty driver assistance systems including an emergency break [sic] system.”

“Audi never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings,” the carmaker says. “We sincerely apologize for this insensitive image and ensure that it will not be used in future. We will also immediately examine internally, how this campaign has been created and if control mechanisms failed in this case.”

Somehow predictably, the apology is proving not enough for critics. They are now saying Audi should have pulled the ad altogether, in addition to issuing that apology, which, they claim, doesn’t even sound sincere in the first place. Call this a classic case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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