Bond-based Ford TV ad falls foul of ASA

Ford is to withdraw the latest TV ad for its Focus Zetec Climate model
after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled it was misleading
consumers by linking the car with the lastest Bond film Casino Royale.

The ASA received two complaints fro…

Ford is to withdraw the latest TV ad for its Focus Zetec Climate model after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled it was misleading consumers by linking the car with the lastest Bond film Casino Royale.

The ASA received two complaints from viewers.

The TV ad, created by Ogilvy& Mather (now Ogilvy Advertising), featured footage from the film combined with shots of the car. It also used the James Bond "gun barrel" with a silhouette of the car and the text "Focus Zetec Climate licensed and loaded from just £12,995".

Complainants argued that the ad showed footage of the latest version of the Ford Mondeo, which has not been launched in the UK but featured in the film. Yet it ended with a shot of the Focus Zetec Climate model suggesting that it had appeared in the film.

The carmaker had negotiated an exclusive brand association deal with Sony/Eon to promote the film launch in return for using Bond imagery in advertising campaigns for the Ford brand and argued the ad just promoted its link with the film.

However, the ASA rejected Ford’s claims ruling that the ad was likely to give the misleading impression that the Focus Zetec Climate was used in the film, which could make it appear more attractive to some viewers.

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