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MG unrepentant over ad pulled after single complaint

A single customer complaint has led to MG having to pull a newspaper, magazine and poster ad campaign.

The 'Full Fat, High Caffeine and Maximum Strength' campaign (example below) promoting the new MG ZR, MG ZS and MG ZT, which began in July, has been suspended following an Advertising Standards Agency ruling.

The complainant felt that the abstract background, headline and 'life's too short not to' strap line conveyed 'a car travelling fast, objected that they placed an 'undue emphasis on speed and encouraged irresponsible driving'.

John Sanders, MG Rover's group marketing director, said: "We are very disappointed with this conclusion. The ads have been very popular since July, resulting in tremendous interest in the new MGs, but the reaction of an individual has changed all that.

"We make no apology for the fact that the new MG range is faithful to the MG tradition of producing genuine sports cars. Communicating the performance characteristics inherent within any MG means an inevitable dynamic association, with the excitement that comes from driving these cars.

"The advertising campaign does not talk about speed; it is designed to appeal to people who like the freedom to make their own choices and not be dictated to by the current obsession with denying oneself the pleasures of life."

MG Rover will be discussing the matter with the ASA to try and “understand better” the basis of its judgement. “It has never been our intention to encourage the use of speed in inappropriate circumstances or conditions, and this is reflected in the fact that only one complaint has been received,” Mr Sanders said.

The TV ads for the new MG models is unaffected by the ASA ruling.

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