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Watch: Controversial Citroen advert cleared by Advertising Standards Agency

Citroen C3 2017 advert

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has cleared the Citroen C3 TV advert after claims it encouraged irresponsible driving.

The TV advert, released in December 2016, showed a motorist using a built-in camera in front of the rear view mirror.

The driver uses the camera to take pictures of landmarks and letters to spell out ‘will you marry me?’

It received 20 complaints as viewers felt that it condoned and/or encouraged dangerous, irresponsible driving - and breaching the Highway Code.

Citroen UK argued that using the camera was no more distracting than turning on the radio, and was designed to “avoid driver distraction”. They also argued that the camera should not be used when a vehicle is in motion, and that the advertising reflected this.

The ASA’s statement read: “We considered that in some of the shots (where the driver was photographing the letters A and R) it appeared that the car might be moving, suggesting that the driver was using the camera while he was driving.

“We noted that there were few, if any, other vehicles using the road in any of the shots and that the action the driver needed to perform to use the camera appeared to be nothing more than would be involved in a driver adjusting music or the radio, which the Highway Code permitted as long as the driver was exercising proper control of the vehicle.

“While we appreciated that the examples of actions or possible distractions given in the Highway Code could be undertaken in ways that would mean a driver was not exercising proper control of the vehicle, we considered there was no suggestion in the shots in the ad that the driver was distracted or not exercising proper control.

“We therefore concluded that ad (a) did not condone or encourage dangerous or irresponsible behaviour prejudicial to safety and in breach of the legal requirements of the Highway Code, and that it therefore did not breach the BCAP Code.

“On this point we investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules 20.1 and 20.2 (Motoring), but did not find it in breach. No further action necessary.

The Citroen C3 ad subject to the ASA investigation - and 20 complaints (video)

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