Car ads under microscope as Volvo hit by watchdog

By By David Blight | 30 May 2012
Volvo V60 Commercial.

A review of self regulation of car advertising has been launched by the government, while yet another television commercial has been hit by the ad watchdog for promoting unsafe driving.

In the wake of complaints regarding car advertising and the promotion of reckless driving, the Department of Infrastructure and Transport has launched a review of the self regulatory code of practice for car advertising.

The rules regarding the self regulation of motor vehicle advertising will be examined over the next six months. The review has also raised concerns about the Advertising Standards Bureau's (ASB) handling of complaints, and issues relating to interpretation of existing codes.

Most recently, a TV spot for the Volvo V60 has been chastised by the ASB for displaying driving practises that would breach the law.

One complaint against the ad said: “The ad unambiguously depicts behaviours which would be both illegal and dangerous on a public road.”

The ASB determined the ad gives an overall impression of “reckless speed” and “unsafe driving”, and ruled the ad should be modified or discontinued.

Volvo has agreed to modify the advertisement.

This is not the first time Volvo has been in hot water with the ASB for depicting unsafe driving. Last year, the ASB upheld a complaint about a different ad for a Volvo car.

Meanwhile, last month a Suzuki ad was modified after the ad watchdog determined it promoted reckless driving.

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