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BMW rapped by ASA for television advert

BMW 3 series

BMW has been told by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) it cannot show its television advert for the 3 Series after it received complaints it encouraged dangerous driving.

The ad began by showing the vehicle being driven along a road through the countryside. As the car approached a coastline, the voice-over stated, “Curves invite you in” and the ad showed the driver changing gear and the reading on the tachometer increases.

The ad cut into a scene of a woman riding a rollercoaster, accompanied by a voice-over which stated, “Curves help you escape”. A brief shot of the car was then shown and the ad cut into a scene with a man in swimming trunks standing on top of a cliff, facing the sea. The voice-over stated, “Curves inspire you, and definitely dare you. And the new BMW 3 Series was made for every one of them”. The final scenes showed the car being driven along the coastal road, shot from various angles.

Three individuals argued that the advert condoned dangerous driving.

BMW said it was told be Clearcast, the ad clearance agency, ahead of showing the advert that the it did not encourage dangerous driving, but rather it dared drivers to get a car which could make any road an enjoyable experience.

The ASA said: “The ASA noted that quick acceleration and excessive speed were not explicitly indicated in the ad.

“However, we noted the ad showed the car being driven along the coastal road from various angles, through a succession of fast-paced shots, including a few aerial shots tracking the vehicle’s movements and shots of a gear change and of the tachometer rapidly increasing. We considered that this gave the impression that the car depicted was being driven along the winding coastal road at considerable speed.

“Because the ad implicitly challenged the viewer to drive at speed around corners, we considered that it had also encouraged irresponsible and potentially dangerous driving. For those reasons, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.”

The ASA said the ad must not appear in its current form again.

It said: “We told BMW (UK) Ltd to ensure that future ads must not demonstrate the handling characteristic of a vehicle except in a clear context of safety, and that reference to this must not suggest excitement, aggression or competitiveness.”

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