ASA considers sanctions against errant MG Rover

MG Rover has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for the third time in just over a year for encouraging speeding and irresponsible driving. The watchdog is looking into the possibility of imposing sanctions on the advertiser.

Last August marked the first occasion when the automotive company’s ads were officially reprimanded. More censure followed in November.

The ASA ordered MG Rover to consult the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) copy advice team before advertising again.

The latest ad for its MG TF 160 car carries the strapline “Before you know it, you’re knocking on 60 Life can certainly pass by at an alarming rate.” It shows a car travelling round a bend on a country road, with the car’s wheels and the surrounding landscape appearing blurred.

A spokeswoman for the ASA says: “Our compliance team routinely looks at advertisers that have had three upheld adjudications within a period of a year. MG Rover’s latest adjudication falls outside that 12-month period, but the team still intends to look into its advertising.”

MG Rover’s general manager of brand strategy Steve Robertson claims the ad was about “the emotional traumas of getting old”.

The ASA has also upheld a complaint against a Yoplait Dairy Crest ad for its yogurt drink, which appeared in Maxim. It shows a parked motorcycle with an open white box marked “Urgent human organ for transplant”.

The advertiser has been asked to stop using the ad and has been advised to consult the CAP copy advice team.

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