German automaker Audi apologised after a new ad showing a little girl eating a banana in front of a red high-performance vehicle stirred controversy.
“We sincerely apologize for this insensitive image and ensure that it will not be used in future,” Audi tweeted on Monday after the ad drew a negative response.
“Lets your heart beat faster – in every aspect,” the marketing slogan read above the picture.
The original post has been retweeted more than 1,000 times.
Some critics called for its immediate withdrawal, claiming the ad was suggestive, while others said there were safety concerns since the driver would not be able to see the child.
But others on social media argued that those who see any “eroticism” in it should wonder about their own imagination.
“The original idea was to show that even the most vulnerable people can rest and relax thanks to the sports technology in the Audi RS 4,” Audi told Euronews.
The company announced on Twitter it would now investigate “how this campaign has been created and if control mechanisms failed in this case”.