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Carmaker ads fall foul of watchdogs

Motor manufacturers advertisements have come in for a tough time in recent weeks, with a number of major car makers forced to withdraw their latest campaigns.

Media watchdog Ofcom received 348 complaints concerning Land Rover’s latest TV campaign for the Freelander Sport, which features a woman firing a starting pistol into the air. Land Rover maintains the firing was to signify that the car can begin its journey, and it had been approved by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre. Ofcom says it breaches guidelines on harm and offence and has ordered it to be taken off air.

General Motors has withdrawn a TV ad in the US showing a boy driving a Corvette through New York, ending with the slogan “Officially the car of your dreams”, following complaints by safety groups that it could encourage joy-riding.

Smart has been ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority to withdraw a nationwide advertisement for the Smart Roadster. The advert showed the vehicle beside a drawing of a Scalextric track, with a headline stating: “Scalextric, what say we do this for real?” roadster.

Smart argued that the message was aimed to convey fun not speed.

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