FORD, Fiat and Nissan have all been handed bans for their latest adverts after being found guilty of encouraging dangerous driving.
While just one complaint was lodged against each Fiat and Nissan, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 12 objections against Ford’s latest Mustang ad.
Called ‘Don’t Go Quietly’, the Mustang advert was shown in cinemas in July as well as on Ford’s YouTube channel.
It depicted drivers getting behind the wheel to relieve anger from work, culminating with one actor snapping a pencil during a meeting.
Despite backing from the Cinema Advertising Association (CAA), the ASA ruled that the Mustang was driven abruptly and enticed road rage.
The ASA also took offence at the 5-litre V8’s loud revving, even though the car did not exceed 15mph throughout filming.
Meanwhile, Nissan’s TV ad for the new Micra was said to exaggerate the car’s safety features and condone irresponsible driving at excessive speeds.
It first aired on May 19, showing a car speeding towards the airport and then the Intelligent Emergency Braking suddenly applied when a man steps in front of the Micra.
The ASA believed the ad implied that drivers can be reckless because the car’s automated system would kick in.
Fiat’s YouTube advert of four of its models taking on spiral roads like Hot Wheels cars was deemed to encourage racing.
The Italian car maker argued that the clip was not for a UK audience as it did not have a ‘.co.uk’ URL and had an American accent voiceover – and so did not fall under ASA’s remit.
However, the ad was paid for by its UK subsidiary and its playful and fantastical imagery was real enough to portray dangerous driving.
The ASA said in separate reports for each car maker: “We told Ford Motor Company Ltd that their advertising must not encourage unsafe driving, including by depicting driving as a way of relieving anger.
“We told Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK Ltd that speed must not be the focus of future ads, and to ensure they did not portray driving behaviour, including racing, that condoned or encouraged motorists to drive irresponsibly.
“We told Nissan not to encourage dangerous driving by exaggeration of its safety features or depict driving at excessive speeds which could encourage irresponsible or dangerous driving.”
All ads were banned from appearing in their current form again.