ASA slams Volvo again for ads which emphasise speed

Volvo’s attempts to dispel its image as a maker of cars which are dull to drive has prompted its third condemnation in eight months for using advertising which focuses on speed.

The Advertising Standards Authority has asked the car manufacturer to withdraw a national press ad for the Volvo V40 T4.

The ad shows an open parachute, a launched ejector seat and pilot behind the car. Created by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, the ad claims ‘The top speed is 148mph. To the warm glow of satisfaction that comes from owning a Volvo, you can now add the cold tingle of anticipation.’

In its latest monthly report, the ASA concluded that the ad could encourage irresponsible driving because its overall message was that the car could be driven at high speed safely and in comfort.

In August last year, the ASA asked Volvo to withdraw an ad for the S70 T-5 which depicted a rocket, stopwatch, sprinter and a fireball behind the car.

It also advised Volvo against using associations between racing and road models after a complaint was received for the ad for the S40 car last October.

The ASA also upheld 52 complaints relating to a poster and an advertisement in Time Out magazine for Prodigy’s single Smack My Bitch Up. Advertisers have been urged to consult the Copy Advice Team before advertising songs with potentially offensive titles.

A catalogue promoting Jigsaw Menswear intended to be reminiscent of Sixties’ TV series The Saint has also been criticised for showing men in dangerous situations. The ASA has asked the company to withdraw the promotional catalogue.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here