By The Drum Team, Editorial

September 5, 2012 | 2 min read

Vauxhall Corsa’s “Put the fun back into driving” advertisement narrowly avoided a ban from the ASA after seven complainants said the ad “encouraged dangerous and irresponsible driving.”

The television ad developed by McCann Erickson features various Corsa’s in a city setting being driven through empty streets. The passengers in each of the cars were shown holding a flare out of the car window to create a smoke trial. The colour of each smoke trail corresponded with the colour of the respective car shown making various patterns throughout the ad. The voiceover then stated: “Vauxhall Corsa. Put the fun back into driving.”

Complainants also raised the issue that the ad was harmful as young drivers were “engaging in dangerous behaviours which could encourage emulation.”

General Motors – the parent company of Vauxhall – responded by saying they had used the claim “Put the fun back into driving” for ten years and “struggled to understand how it could be seen to encourage dangerous and/or irresponsible driving.”

Clearcast added that the claim had been used by Vauxhall Corsa for many years without issues and “did not believe it encouraged dangerous or irresponsible driving.”

General Motors continued that the ad was “not intended to represent driving in the ‘real world’ and this was indicated by the deserted streets.”

The ASA ruling concluded that though the passengers holding flares out of car windows “could be seen as irresponsible” the various models of car were shown in different colours and the “smoke trails, created by the flares, corresponded to those colours.” Ruling that in the context of the ad the coloured smoke was to emphasise the colours the car was available in, and the claim “Putting the fun back into driving” was unlikely to be interpreted as encouraging dangerous and irresponsible driving.


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McCann Erickson Communications House

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