In response to recent television ads from Volvo and Suzuki that were deemed to promote dangerous or unsafe driving, the Australian government has launched an inquiry into vehicle advertising.
The inquiry launched by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport follows two ads recently picked up by the Advertising Standards Bureau for breaching the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Advertising for Motor Vehicles Voluntary Code of Practice (FCAI Code) in depicting “unsafe driving” – a Volvo V60 ad with the car “drifting” around corners and a Suzuki Swift Sport ad filmed in a multi-storey car park.
Volvo has agreed to modify the ad to conform to the ASB’s findings before continuing with its television campaign. While Volvo stated its objective with the ad was “not to in any way portray or glorify illegal driving practices”, the ASB Board noted “the on screen disclaimer ‘filmed under controlled conditions’ does not excuse the behavior depicted”.
It’s not the first time Volvo has been caught out by the ASB. In September 2011 an ad showing a red Volvo S60 completing a 180-degree turn was found to be in breach of the code.
The six-month inquiry will examine the effectiveness of the current voluntary code on vehicle advertising, seeking advice from both the road safety and advertising industries.