Bosses at Ford Motor Company have issued an apology after an advertisement containing controversial caricatures of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian was leaked online.

The animated Ford India ad, featuring scantily-clad images of Kardashian and her fashion designer sisters Kourtney and Khloe bound and gagged in the trunk of a yellow Figo, surfaced on the Internet on Friday night (22Mar13).

The Kardashians' reality Tv rival, Hilton, is seated in the front of the car in one winking at the cameras, and the mock-up has caused an uproar from critics, who slammed the cartoon ad for its "disgusting" and "sleazy" nature.

Now car chiefs at Ford have apologised for the inappropriate images, created by JWT India, insisting they plan to conduct an investigation into the incident because the animation was neither commissioned nor approved before it hit the Internet.

Publicist Sethi Deepti tells The Economic Times, "We take this very seriously and are reviewing approval and oversight processes, and taking necessary steps to ensure nothing like this ever happens again."

Meanwhile, executives at JWT India have also released a statement, pinning the blame on a handful of rogue employees. It reads, "These were made as posters by individuals. They have never been paid for and were not expected to be released."