Peugeot has been accused of promoting dangerous driving in an advert for the 208 in which the driver reads a text message.
The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints about the Peugeot 208 advert, which ran on TV during July, and demonstrated how the in-car screen can receive and display text messages.
Five viewers challenged whether the ad was irresponsible, because it condoned or encouraged dangerous or irresponsible driving behaviour prejudicial to safety and in breach of the legal requirements of the Highway Code.
"We considered that, to show a driver reading a text message (which, even at the eye level at which it was shown in the ad, would have inevitably diverted his attention from the road ahead) and then reacting to it, amounted to a distraction that would have prevented him being aware of, and/or being in control of, other actions that were necessary for safe driving," stated the ASA.
"We told Peugeot to ensure future ads did not condone or encourage dangerous or irresponsible driving behaviour prejudicial to safety and in breach of the legal requirements of the Highway Code."
Responding on behalf of themselves and Peugeot, Clearcast said the Highway Code permitted a driver to adjust music or the radio. They believed the action of the driver looking momentarily at a message on a screen in the dashboard was no worse and arguably less distracting than that.
Peugeot said the screen which displayed the text message was at an angle which avoided driver distraction and was at eye level so the driver stayed focused on controlling and driving the car.