Audi ad banned
Aug 4 2004
An advert for German car manufacturer Audi was banned today for condoning speeding.
The promotion was sent as direct mail and included various roads on which Audi suggested test driving its A3 model.
Describing a stretch of the A5 in Staffordshire, between Weston-under-Lizard and Horsebrook, it said: "Ten kilometres of dead straight tarmac and a 3.2 V6 with potent acceleration. The perfect match."
A member of the public complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the mailing "encouraged irresponsible driving".
Audi said the section of the mailing referring to the 3.2 V6 engine "merely pointed out the road conditions in which it would be safe to accelerate, such as a perfectly straight road".
It insisted the advert "did not promote driving at excessive speed or suggest accelerating beyond the speed limit".
The ASA said a version of the mailing approved by a team of experts from the advertising industry did not include the words "potent acceleration".
The watchdog upheld the complaint because it said the wording in the advert "encouraged acceleration over a long stretch of road" and could be "seen to condone excessive speed and thereby irresponsible driving".
It asked Audi not to use the same approach again.
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