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Watchdog rejects Audi R8 'irresponsible' ad claims

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Audi has been given the all-clear after complaints about a television ad were made to the watchdog.

Four viewers said an ad, seen between June 6 and 8, for the R8 “condoned irresponsible and dangerous driving”.

The ad began by showing a close-up, slow motion shot of a vehicle drifting and spinning inside a film studio. The ad then cut to a birds-eye view of the vehicle which was revealed to be performing a 'doughnut' manoeuvre, which left a circular tyre track with smoke coming out of the tyres. The circular tyre track then gradually formed the Audi logo with on-screen text that stated "Speed isn't everything".

Audi parent Volkswagen Group UK said this central message conveyed “the beauty of the design and poise of the R8 model in a simple and creative manner, with the focus on the design and engineering of the model”.

Shot on a private closed set, it bore no resemblance to public roads or an environment in which the R8 would actually be driven by consumers. All manoeuvres were done between 10 and 30 mph. Most of the 'smoke' rising from the studio floor was in fact dust, it said.

In rejecting the complaints, the Advertising Standards Agency said the sustained use of slow motion shots throughout the ad, rather than images of the vehicle moving in real time, created a “composed and controlled feel”, instead of one of excitement or aggression.

“Although the 'doughnut' manoeuvre could be dangerous if conducted under normal driving conditions or without appropriate supervision, we noted that the R8 was only shown to be carrying out the 'doughnut' manoeuvre briefly at the end of the ad.

“In combination with the soundtrack, the slow motion close-up shots, the setting and the closing on-screen text ‘Speed isn't everything’, we considered that the ad focused on, and showcased, the aesthetics of the vehicle design, rather than demonstrating the power or handling capabilities of the R8. On that basis, we concluded that the ad did not condone irresponsible or dangerous driving.”

The Audi ad



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