Before the rise of social media it was much easier for a brand to get away with a marketing faux pas. Even if its mistake was spotted, it was unlikely consumers would have the platform or audience to do much about it. Fast-forward to 2017 – Sunday February 5, to be exact. Audi successfully showed 111m Super Bowl fans, 12m YouTube viewers and millions of people on social media that it doesn’t stand by its own brand values. In case you missed it, the German car manufacturer hooked onto gender inequality in the workplace, an emotive issue that receives a lot of airtime in the US and around the world. The beautifully shot 30-second spot received plenty of acclaim, including from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who tweeted: “Love this #SuperBowl ad from Audi USA, which drives home the need for equal pay for women. Now more than ever, we need ads like this which push back on gender stereotypes.” It’s a provocative and powerful ad. Unfortunately, Audi’s own track record of promoting women to...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.