The Clear View – Jaguar F-Type
This week’s ASA adjudications included the result of a fairly common investigation into whether the driving sequences of a sports car ad glorified speed or encouraged dangerous driving .
Ads for fast cars always have the problem of not being able to demonstrate the speed of the cars. The BCAP code does not allow ‘dangerous, competitive, inconsiderate or irresponsible driving’ and this is an obvious difficulty for advertisers whose product’s main feature is its ability to go really fast.
Clearcast spend a lot of time asking agencies to amend rough edits to slow cars down and to reduce the sounds of roaring engines and skidding tyres. The recent Jaguar F-Type ad made by Tag Worldwide was no exception to this, and our diligence during the clearance of the ad has resulted in the ad staying on the air because the ASA decided not to uphold the complaint.
Ads can use camera trickery and post-production effects to imply a certain amount of speed but when cars are shown driving without these effects they must be travelling within the speed limit. The fact that the F-Type was driven within the speed limit was a key part of the ASA’s decision to not uphold.
Another interesting aspect of the ASA’s assessment was that they considered the ad ‘represented a fantastical enough situation to give a clear impression to viewers that the ads did not depict a realistic diving scene’. This is something we consider when making our judgments on the qualities of driving sequences.
Car ads that are clearly fantastical have the freedom to present driving sequences that might not be acceptable in a totally realistic setting where the rules of the Highway Code must be followed. Where the line is drawn between reality and fantasy is a matter of interpretation, but we will continue to use our expertise to ensure we only approve car ads that we can defend with confidence in the event of an ASA investigation.
Seb Lynch, Copy Development Manager at Clearcast.