Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 1

EXAMPLES OF "UPHELD" COMPLAINTS

  Mercedes-Benz (United Kingdom) Ltd

  Date: 15 September 1999

  Media: Magazine

  Sector: Motoring

  Agency: Partners BDDH

Complaint:

  Objection to a magazine advertisement for a specialist edition car. The advertisement was headed "Imagine horizontal bungee jumping" and showed a picture of the car, which was part blurred against a blurred background. It claimed "The road car's no slouch either. V12 engine. 200 mph. 612 bhp. Imagine 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds". The complainant objected that, because it placed undue emphasis on speed, the advertisement was irresponsible.

  Codes Section: 48.2, 48.3 (Ed 9)

Adjudication:

  Complaint upheld.

  The advertisers denied the advertisement unduly emphasised speed. They said the advertisement's message was about imagining the car's performance; the rest of the copy described the car's racing pedigree. The car used in the photograph was the road-going version of the racing car and had been photographed on a racetrack, not a public road. They had no plans to use the advertisement again. The Authority noted the advertisers' comments but considered that the use of phrase "imagine horizontal bungee jumping", the blurred image of the car and the emphasis in the copy of the car's performance, engine power and racing pedigree gave the impression that the car could be driven at a speed so high that it would result in the same experience of adrenaline as that derived from bungee jumping. The Authority concluded that the advertisement could encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly. The advertisers were asked not to repeat it.

  Peugeot Motor Company plc

  Date: 13 October 1999

  Media: National Press

  Sector: Motoring

  Agency: Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper

Complaint:

  Objections, including ones from the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd, to two national press advertisements for the Peugeot 206 GTi.

    (a)  One advertisement showed an empty straight road with a puddle through which the car had apparently driven; the resulting splash was frozen in mid-air but no car was visible.

    (b)  Another advertisement showed a straight road in a desert. A humming bird was frozen in flight near a flower. A red blur from a car was over the road. Both advertisements had the strapline "The new Peugeot 206 GTi. Now you see it. Now you don't". The complainants objected that the advertisements were irresponsible, encouraged speeding and made speed the predominant message of the advertisement.

  Codes Section: 2.4, 48.1, 48.2, 48.3 (Ed 9)

Adjudication:

  Complaints upheld

  The advertisers said the advertisements were intended to emphasise the "magic" of the car by highlighting the emotional release and sense of freedom gained by driving it. They stressed that the advertisements were part of a wider campaign that was based on a theme of magical disappearances of their cars. The Authority considered that the combination of the images and the words "Now you see it. Now you don't" gave the impression that the car was being driven at high speed, could encourage speeding and was irresponsible. The Authority was concerned that neither the advertisers nor their agency had apparently realised that the advertisements were likely to breach the Codes. During the investigation the Authority asked the Committee of Advertising Practice to act immediately to ensure that the advertisers withdrew the advertisements. The Authority welcomed the advertisers' decision to do so and to amend the advertisements in line with advice from the Committee of Advertising Practice Copy Advice team.

EXAMPLES OF "NOT UPHELD" COMPLAINTS

  Hyundai Car (UK) Ltd

  Date: 13 October 1999

  Media: Poster

  Sector: Motoring

  Agency: Leagas Delaney

Complaint:

  Objection to a poster for the Hyundai F2 Coupe Evolution car. The advertisement featured a car travelling on a country road, apparently at speed, against a blurred background. The advertisement stated "Get your kicks on the A796. The F2 Coupe Evolution". The complainants objected that the advertisement was irresponsible because it placed undue emphasis on speed and encouraged irresponsible driving.

  Codes Section: 48.1, 48.2, 48.3 (Ed 9)

Adjudication:

  Complaints not upheld

  The advertisers said the strapline referred to the American song Get Your Kicks on Route 66 and was intended to emphasise the enjoyment of driving along a beautiful road in the Hyundai Coupe special edition. They pointed out that since its launch the advertised car had been recognised as one of the most beautiful cars on the road and that the intention of the advertisement was to emphasise the beauty of the car and that it was great fun to drive. The Authority considered that the poster emphasised the enjoyment of driving the car and neither unduly emphasised speed nor encouraged irresponsible driving.

  Peugeot Motor Company plc

  Date: 12 April 1999

  Media: National press

  Sector: Motoring

  Agency: Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper

Complaint:

  Objection to a national press advertisement, that showed an empty humped-back bridge in the countryside, with a car suspended in the air as if it had jumped over the bridge. The complainant objected that the advertisement was irresponsible, because it emphasised the thrill of driving fast on rural roads and thereby encouraged unsafe driving.

  Codes Section: 10.1, 48.1, 48.2 (Ed 9)

Adjudication:

  Complaints not upheld

  The advertisers explained that the advertisement was a surreal depiction of the sense of freedom and escapism felt when driving a Peugeot 106 GTi. They considered that the unrealistic distance shown between the bridge and the car made clear that the image was not a genuine shot of car jumping from a bridge. The Authority noted the advertisement was fantastical and concluded that it was unlikely to encourage unsafe driving.




 
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