The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a Lings Cars Facebook advert that used the tag line “Black cars matter” to promote an Audi A4 on its online car leasing platform.
The ASA ruled that the online leasing business – which is not in any way related to Suffolk-based dealer group, Lings – had trivialised the serious issues raised by the current Black Lives Matter anti-racism movement and also caused offence by “fetishising black men” with its post.
Three complainants were received by the ASA in relation to the advert which used the slogans “Black cars matter”, “Once you go black, you never go back” and the image of the raised fist wearing a wristband displaying the Audi logo.
Further text stated “AUDI A4 BLACK POWER EDITION” and "MANUAL GEARBOX (BIG GEARKNOB)”.
In response to the complaints, Lings Cars told the ASA that it regarded the advert as inoffensive.
The ASA upheld the complaints against the advert and banned its future use, however, stating that use of the various slogans and iconography to draw attention to an ad for a car “had the effect of trivialising the serious issues raised by those movements”.
It found that elements of the adverts’ wording were likely to be seen as objectifying and fetishising black men.
The ASA said in its ruling: “Because those claims, particularly in the context of an ad for an unrelated product alongside references to recent protests opposing racism against black people, were likely to cause serious offence on the grounds of race, we considered the ad was socially irresponsible.
“We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.”
This is not the first time that Lings Cars has found itself at loggerheads with the ASA.
Back in June 2018 it again insisted that one of its Facebook adverts was “inoffensive” and refused to acknowledge its use of what the ASA ruled as a derogatory homophobic slur.