Peugeot advert is banned after encouraging dangerous driving 0


A Peugeot commercial has been banned after it was deemed to encourage dangerous driving. In the advert, the driver of the Peugeot 208 is seen reading a text message on the car’s built-in dashboard display and reacting to it with obvious pleasure.

As he drives through the streets of a city, the driver reads the text ‘I’m bored without you’ sent from a woman at a party. He then clicks his fingers and a man at the party (with the woman), falls into a swimming pool.

Five viewers complained about the ad, saying it condoned or encouraged dangerous driving or irresponsible behaviour.

Commercial clearance agency, Clearcast, responded on behalf of Peugeot saying that the Highway Code allows drivers to adjust music or the radio.

Clearcast’s argument is that briefly looking at a text message on the car’s dashboard is no worse than adjusting music or the radio; the action of taking one hand off the steering wheel the same as changing gear.

They said that at no point does the driver in the advert take his eyes from the road and that there are no other vehicles seen while he is driving.

Peugeot themselves said that the SMS screen is at the driver’s eye-level so they can remain focused on controlling the car.  

Upholding the complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said ads must not condone or encourage dangerous or irresponsible driving behaviour which would breach the Highway Code.

It said: ‘We considered that, to show a driver reading a text message which, even at the eye level at which it was shown in the ad, would have inevitably diverted his attention from the road ahead, and then reacting to it, amounted to a distraction that would have prevented him being aware of, and/or being in control of, other actions that were necessary for safe driving.’

It ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form, adding: ‘We told Peugeot to ensure future ads did not condone or encourage dangerous or irresponsible driving behaviour prejudicial to safety and in breach of the legal requirements of the Highway Code.’

Judge for yourself here.

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