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Evo complaint partly upheld by ASA

A complaint against the Colt Car Company over an “irresponsible” advertisement for its Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII has been partly upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The watchdog received a complaint regarding advertisements placed in national newspapers which showed one Evo in red with the headline “Scary” beside another in police livery with the headline “Very Scary”.

The complainant suggested carmakers should not claim police endorsement of products except in the interests of public safety, and that the advertisement’s wording, which included information about the car’s rally breeding and high performance, was “irresponsible” by emphasising speed. In its defence, Colt Car Company produced an e-mail from the National Association of Police Fleet Managers, which had approved the advert prior to publication.

The authority rejected the issue regarding police endorsement, but upheld the complaint that the advertisement was “irresponsible”, adding that its wording “made speed the predominant message”.

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