Toyota let off by ITC over ‘fighting’ ad

Toyota has escaped a reprimand after 41 television viewers complained to the Independent Television Commission (ITC) about an advertisement that depicted the use of violence in settling a driving dispute.

The ad, for the Toyota Corolla, shows the car being driven through a puddle and splashing a small girl. Her father then approaches a passer-by, who is standing by the now-parked Corolla. The passer-by pretends to have been the driver, and a punch-up ensues off-camera. The last shot shows the passer-by, who had been proud to have been thought of as a Corolla driver, joking with the real driver.

The ITC’s codes state that ads must not encourage or condone violence. In its latest report, the ITC concludes that the ad did neither, but it has advised the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre that the ad was at the margins of acceptability.

The ITC report also reveals that Paramount Comedy and MTV Networks have refined the monitoring systems designed to prevent restricted advertisements being shown before their permitted times, after both channels broadcast a Capital One ad featuring a mermaid using a hairdryer underwater before a 9pm time restriction that had previously been imposed by the ITC. Sky Sports Channels, UK Gold+1 and Film Four had also mistakenly shown the advertisement before the 9pm restriction.

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