The UK Bans BMW Ad For Depicting Dangerous Driving
The Ultimate Driving Machine just got too ultimate for British televisionby Jonathan Lopez, on
When you consider the constant bombardment of advertising that we all must endure on a daily basis, it comes as no surprise that grabbing the attention of consumers is no easy feat. Bimmer thought it had the right recipe with this ad aimed at the U.K. market, but apparently, it violates the sensibilities of regulators by depicting “dangerous” and “irresponsible driving.”
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The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority has a bone to pick, saying the ad “[gives] the impression that the cars were being driven at a considerable speed.”
At just a minute in length, the advert in question is intended to show off BMW’s xDrive AWD system. As such, it include a number of shots showing various BMW models tackling mud, snow, and wet road conditions.
Makes sense, right?
Well, the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority, or ASA, has a bone to pick, saying the ad “[gives] the impression that the cars were being driven at a considerable speed.”
“The demonstration of the capability of the xDrive system condoned faster, dangerous, and irresponsible driving .. presented in the context of excitement,” argues the ASA.
While the regulators did admit that “some of the scenes took place off public roads,” it added that many were “not significantly different to environments that viewers might encounter.” The ASA also said that the ad showed an X5 “appearing to skid on a dirt trail.”
BMW responded by saying the skid was no more than a demonstration of a “slight reduction in traction,” adding that all of the vehicles in the ad were driven safely and responsibly.
Perhaps the backing track is part of the problem. Providing the music is U.K. band Blur, belting out the late ‘90s rock hit Song 2. If you’ve ever heard the song, you’re sure to agree that it’s enough to make you want to dig into the loud pedal maybe just a little bit. However, BMW says the song was picked to appeal to the brand’s target audience, not as a means of implying the cars were being driven at high speed.
And after all, it is just a song, right?
AutoExpress reports that just one individual out of an estimated 9.3 million complained about the advertisement, and despite BMW’s assertions that it followed the rules, the ASA levied three individual code infractions against the automaker. That includes stipulations governing depictions of “dangerous, competitive, inconsiderate, or irresponsible driving,” as well as videos that “must not demonstrate power, acceleration, or handling characteristics except in a clear context of safety.”
Check out the video for yourself below. Personally, we here at TopSpeed are scratching our heads trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with the ASA, but you be the judge.
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