BMW has ended up in hot water over its latest artistic endeavours after Australia’s advertising watchdog deemed its TV ad showing a Z4 sport car creating a painting could encourage hoon driving.
The standards authority outlawed the ad for the new BMW Z4 Roadster because the driving stunts shown would break Australian road laws if they were performed on a public road.
The TV and print ad campaign features the Z4 creating a giant artwork in a warehouse by driving with painted tyres, and includes the vehicle spinning its wheels and skidding.
It was the work of artist Robin Rhode and famed Hollywood film director Ridley Scott’s son, Jake.
The ad, which has been shown around the world, was banned on the basis that it depicted illegal driving, after viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Bureau that it “would encourage car hoons to spin and burn their tyres.”
The bureau said in its judgement that “ the board noted that the advertisement does depict in a number of places the driver intentionally allowing the wheels of the car to lose traction and perform . . . a four-wheel drift.”
BMW defended the advertisement as art and said, “We believe the audience can distinguish between fantasy and reality.”
BMW spokesman Toni Andreevski told CarAdvice the company accepted the decision but believed it could have successfully appealed.
“It is a bit of a case of a piece of art and the freedom of art being thwarted by Victoria’s anti-hoon laws,” he said.
He said the artwork had been cut into pieces after it was created and distributed around the world, including Australia where four pieces of it hang in the entrance foyer to the BMW Australia headquarters.
“It is a shame that artistic expression would be caught by a quirk in the legislation. Safety is important to us, and we have agreed not to appeal.”
Mr Andreevski said the company was disappointed it had been branded for hoon driving, especially as it operated one of the longest-running driver training schemes in Australia and had been responsible for improving the driving standards of thousands of motorists.
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