Britain's Media Guardian magazine reported the 20-second spot was produced by a London-based advertising duo known as Lee and Dan, who were given 40,000 British pounds, $75,000, and access to the lastest Polo model to do the shoot. The two apologized for offending people but refused to identify themselves. Reuters noted that under German law, charges can be filed against unknown persons, obliging authorities to track down the perpetrators.Link to news story, link to clip. (Thanks, Shawn). Joi Ito's blog has more: Link
The ad – which plays on the VW Polo's tagline "small but tough" – shows a man in fatigues and a Middle Eastern keffiyeh getting in his Polo and driving to the front of a sidewalk cafe. Still in the driver's seat, he detonates a bomb belt. A flash appears inside the car, but the vehicle does not explode. Then comes the strapline: "Polo. Small but tough."
In a statement, Lee and Dan said, "The ad got out accidentally and has spread like wildfire. It wasn't meant for public consumption. We think the spot reflects what people see in the news everyday, and in this instance the car is the hero that protects innocent people from someone with very bad intentions. We're sorry if the ad has caused any offense."