The Advertising Standards Authority has placed a 9pm restriction on a “shocking” television campaign for Volkswagen’s Golf range after receiving 1,066 complaints, the fifth-highest number ever.
The ASA said the Matrix-style ad, which shows a car designer encountering and fighting a series of clones of himself, is likely to cause “serious offence or distress” if shown earlier in the evening and must not air when children might be watching.
The watchdog said that the opening punch is “shocking” and the violence “realistic in appearance”.
Volkswagen says the ads are not intended to condone violence or cause offence and that the “creative techniques” used distance the action from reality.
It says that the 100-second and two edited 40-second versions were given a post-7.30pm restriction.
Complaints that the cinema version of the ad was unsuitable to be shown before 12A and 15 rated movies and that they are likely to be copied by children were dismissed by the watchdog.