We don’t normally make a practice of criticising our friends from Australia but just this one time, we’re left with no choice.

We’ve learned that the country’s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standard Bureau has made a decision to ban the new BMW Z4 ‘Expressions of Joy’ campaign from Australian television.

We’d understand if there was some sort of justification as to why the advertisement met enough opposition to ban it, but according to the ASB, they decided to dismiss the ad because it promoted ‘car hoons to spin and burn their tyres’.

Say that again?

If you haven’t seen the ad, it pretty much involves a BMW Z4 driving on top of an enormous white canvas with trails of pain on its tires. As it drives around, it paints the canvas into the artwork that was envisioned by Robin Rhode and director Jake Scott. While the car doe do a number of drift-worthy spins, it does so under the banner of ‘art’, which apparently, the ASB misconstrued as promoting dangerous driving.

Continued after the jump with video.

If you haven’t seen the ad, it pretty much involves a BMW Z4 driving on top of an enormous white canvas with trails of pain on its tires. As it drives around, it paints the canvas into the artwork that was envisioned by Robin Rhode and director Jake Scott. While the car doe do a number of drift-worthy spins, it does so under the banner of ‘art’, which apparently, the ASB misconstrued as promoting dangerous driving.

In their interpretation, the ASB noted that the driver intentionally allows his Z4 to perform a four-wheel drift, which in their mind is tantamount to reckless driving. Never mind that it was merely an artistic exhibition to promote the Z4.

The ASB’s banning of the commercial prompted a reply from the folks at BMW, who naturally didn’t understand the mind-numbing reasoning the ASB gave in banning the commercial on Australian television.
BMW spokesman Toni Andreevski said: “The commercial is a bit of a case of a piece of art and the freedom of art that’s being thwarted by Victoria’s anti-hoon laws. Obviously, we believe that the audience can distinguish between fantasy and reality.”

Nevertheless, BMW was a good sport about it and simply said that “safety is important to us, and we have agreed not to appeal the ABS’ decision.”
Despite being banned from Aussie television, viewers from Australia can still check out the commercial here. Thank God for YouTube, yes?


Source: BMW Blog

What do you think?
Show Comments

12 comments:

  (177) posted on 07.5.2009

Maybe the ASB is expressing their own joy—the joy of their mediocrity, conservatism and miscinstrrued understanding of reckless driving due to thier limited knowledge about drift driving. It is a poor interpretation and application of the anti-hoon law which in the end fails to qualify which is acceptable and which is not. If they are somehow referring to environmental value of their banning...and let them put that in their ads—that it is a government warning that reckless tire burning is harmful to the environment. That is more acceptable.

  (79) posted on 07.5.2009

I don’t know with the ASB. What I know is that they have the autority to subject into their verdict which ads can be aired or not. I know they have the anit-hoon law. But I what don’t understand is how they interpreted the performance of the Z4, one of the safest sports car in the world as reckless driving and not excellent handling and performance due ot its aerodynamic design etc etc.

  (116) posted on 07.5.2009

The interpretation of joy is truly subjective and since this is a car commercial, it is not surprising that you show how powerfull the handling is, how sleek the system is and for perfectly capable is the car in turning every joyful performance into an art of driving. Many people see drift driving as baseless sports, reckless and mindless, but if you will ask Kumanobo, it is far from the value why the sports was developed. I think this is the fault of the ASB, they generalized that every quick turn means recklessness.

  (137) posted on 07.5.2009

Drift driving is a sports of professional drivers. The car is tuned perfectly for safety, the scoring system reflects precission and skills. I don’t get the point why the ASB have to call this as reckess unless they do not know what they are talking about. Now if they on the other hand focused on the fact, that this tire burning performance is not good to the environment, maybe I would support thier cause, but not only for the BMW commercials, but for all commercials that shows disregard for environmental preservation.

  (78) posted on 07.5.2009

Of course, there is always a reason to put this matter in the context of local perspective, but at the same time, we also have to question some decisions made in the global perspective—the said commercial’s drift driving exhibition may not necessarilly all about speeding and reakless driving as the movements of the car traced the entire canvas that contain the artwork. Joy somehow is a reflection of boldness, style and proper execution. I guess the Aussies are missing the point.

  (231) posted on 07.5.2009

I think the ASB made it clear—not with validity of their decision in terms of banning the BMW ads but in terms of rejecting the ads due to the anti-hoon law. It’s their law and we can’t do anything about it. Something we see accpetable in our state may not be necessarily true for others.

  (289) posted on 07.5.2009

That is excatly I really want to say. Every commercial, for whatever reason have its subliminal message implanted in it-the coca cola company is very good at this one. That is why it is called promotion—to promote its products. But I don’t think this is enough to say that this ads misconstrued the meaning of joy, as joy is a very subjective term such as happiness.

  (318) posted on 07.5.2009

I guess, on one hand, we have to consider that the joy being presented in the ad may have subliminal message due to the freestyling drift performance the ZR. But remember that more than the drift driving performance shown, the ands deliver a strong message about quality, safety and commitment that the BMW family offers to its clients—and the most important thing is that this commercial its all about its products—to promote recklessness maybe not in the list of BMW’s injected message in this ads.

  (421) posted on 07.5.2009

I guess the ASB would rather accept some skinny women clad in skimpy short shorts or bikini in a car because it does not promote reckless driving. Alright, looking at the trunkated moral reasoning of this regulatory board, you could surmise how they limit their perspective just because of the anti-hoon law.

  (314) posted on 07.5.2009

This is really aburd. I guess, ASB is having a joy trip a this moment by wieding their power. This is sad, because the entire concept is flawless and even sa execution was artistically done. The sad point is the quick turns of the Z4 was equated to reckless driving over the entire intention of the ads.

BMWM6  (488) posted on 07.5.2009

Almost every car commercial involves a car speeding somewhere wuold that be banned

maybe they just want a 360 deree video of a car to satisfy them

BMWM6  (488) posted on 07.5.2009

I have never been to australia but to anyone that has I have a question

Are people allowed to watch television there

Thats dumb "the driver allowed the z4 to do a 4 wheel drift-reckless driving"

thats in a closed area I believe people are allowed to drift there cars in empty parking lots this is in a private location if this is banned then what is permitted in Australia

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