Published on May 30, 2012
FOR the second time in a year car manufacturer Volvo has had an ad banned by the advertising watchdog for depicting unsafe driving.
The Advertising Standards Bureau has ordered an ad shot overseas for the Volvo V60 to have "unsafe'' sequences removed.
Critics complained about the ad, which features a car being driven by a helmeted driver around a wharf, sliding out of control and doing 180 degree handbrake turns.
Such manoeuvres are banned under the code set by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries unless clearly defined as motor racing or taking place on a test track.
The ad then finishes with a panther leaping into the back of the car and the line "...and plenty of room for pets''.
Harold Scruby, head of the Pedestrian Council of Australia, which lodged a complaint about the ad, accused Volvo of ignoring a previous ruling about similar behaviour in ads.
"The fact that this ad could go to air at all in Australia reflects a deep and continuing failure with the process of vetting ads,'' the complaint to the ASB said.
In September last year the ASB upheld a similar complaint about an ad for the same model which showed the car racing along a road, straddling the centre line and doing a 180 degree turn.
At the time the ASB ordered the sequences be removed from the ad.
Volvo rejected the grounds of the complaint but said it would adhere to the ruling.
"As a brand we are committed to delivering the world's safest vehicles,'' the company said in its response.
"Volvo Car Australia does not encourage anyone to drive in a reckless and unsafe manner. Accordingly, we respectfully disagree with the complainant's characterisation of the advertisement.''
Since 1998 twelve ads by Volvo have been the subject of complaints, with all but the two most recent ones dismissed.
Mr Scruby said he was appalled that the second ad was allowed to go to air after the first one had been banned and called for a system of pre-vetting
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