An commercial for the Toyota 86 that was part of a multi-million dollar UK advertising campaign launched in August has been pulled for condoning dangerous driving and being in breach of the UK’s advertising codes.
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled the Toyota 86 ‘Real Deal’ TV ad and corresponding YouTube clip breached the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) advertising codes by condoning dangerous driving.
The heavily-stylised Toyota 86 (badged GT86 in the UK) commercial shows a virtual man stuck in a virtual world find his way into the rear-wheel-drive sports car in an effort to feel something ‘real’.
The ASA’s ruling was in response to two complainants challenging that the ad was irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving.
Toyota responded to the complaints by saying it did not condone or encourage unsafe or irresponsible driving and that when designing the ad, it paid particular attention to the Highway Code and the CAP Code.
Toyota highlighted the point that the ad was clearly set in an artificial environment and therefore did not show normal driving circumstances.
The ASA, however, considered that a number of scenes depicted the character driving at speed and in a reckless manner on roads that, while based on fantasy, were recognisable and not significantly different from those in the real world.
The final decision concluded that the ad portrayed speed, might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly, and condoned driving dangerously.
Despite the ASA telling Toyota the ad must not appear again in its current form and not to portray speed or driving behaviour in a way that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly in future, the ‘Real Deal’ ad remains on Toyota UK’s YouTube channel.
According to the ASA’s report on the case, Google, which own YouTube, said the ad did not breach any of its internal policies and the responsibility to obey applicable laws and codes lay with the advertisers.
Read CarAdvice’s Toyota 86 Review.