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Ford Mustang Commercial Banned For Encouraging Dangerous Driving

Commercials / 19 Comments

And yet the car was driving no more than 15 mph in the commerical.

Remember the Top Gear episode in which Jeremy Clarkson and James May were tasked with producing a TV advert for the Volkswagen Scirocco TDI, only to be lambasted when their video showed scenes of dangerous driving? Ford has found itself in the same situation.

The BBC reports that the UK's Advertising Standards Authority has banned a commercial for the 2018 Ford Mustang that was shown in cinemas and on the automaker's YouTube channel because it "depicted driving as a way of relieving anger."

The commercial shows scenes of dissatisfied office workers going about their day and ends with a Ford Mustang driving out of a parking lot and onto the road. It all looks laughably tame to us, but it prompted twelve people to complain. Oh, the outrage. You can watch it on YouTube below to decide for yourself.

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In response to the investigation, Ford argued that the "intention was to contrast the everyday frustrations of work life with the freedom of driving a new Ford Mustang," but the ASA disagreed and had the advert pulled. The commercial also uses a voiceover that quotes the Dylan Thomas poem "Do not go gentle into that good night," which Ford said shows the Mustang as "the antidote to a dull life."

In response, the ASA said the advert showed the Mustang being driven in an "abrupt manner" as on-screen text read "Don't go quietly" and characters were depicted releasing their anger while driving the car. "We therefore considered that the ads suggested that driving was a way of releasing anger, which put the driver, other motorists and pedestrians at risk."

Ironically, the Mustang was driven at no more than 15 mph in the commercial according to Ford. "Our intent is never to encourage unsafe driving and, while care was taken during filming of the ad to show the car driving safely and at no point exceeding 15 mph, we will no longer include the ad in our future marketing communications," the automaker said.

TV commercials for Nissan and Fiat Chrysler have also been banned in the UK. The Nissan commercial showed a car braking after a pedestrian stepped in front of it. Nissan argued this demonstrated the car's "intelligent technology and safety features" and that the driver was "at all times driving within the applicable speed limits," but the ASA criticised the advert because it "implied the character had increased the speed of the vehicle because they were in a rush".

Fiat's commercial, on the other hand, showed cars driving on a track "designed to emulate the Hot Wheels children's toy cars game." However, the ASA claimed the Hot Wheels association "would not be immediately obvious to or understood by many consumers" and that the ad "portrayed the cars racing and being driven in a manner that condoned or encouraged unsafe or irresponsible driving."

Car commercials being banned in the UK isn't uncommon due to notoriously strict advertising regulations - just imagine what the ASA would think of the aggressive Dodge Demon commercials that are broadcasted in the US.