Citroen TV ad banned pre-watershed

Citroen’s television ad featuring cyclists chasing a C4 motor car has been slammed by the advertising watchdog in case it causes copycat behaviour by children.


The ad shows a Citroen C4 stationary at traffic lights pursued by a lone cyclist when it pulls away. Other cyclists join in the chase until the car loses them at the next junction and so the crowd turn and follow a C4 in the other direction.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a complaint that the ad was being broadcast at times when it might be seen by children and it could encourage dangerous behaviour as none of the cyclists were wearing helmets.

Citroen UK defended the ad saying that it featured cyclists to highlight the vehicle’s low CO2 emissions and “stop-start technology” rather than to focus on cycling. It explained that the C4’s engine stopped when the car halted at traffic lights, which was less polluting and more comfortable for cyclists.

It added that there were no children in the ad and that wearing a cycle helmet is not a legal requirement.

The ASA said that it did not consider the ad condoned behaviour that could be dangerous to adults and older children but that younger children might not appreciate the “fantastical nature” of the spot. The watchdog said that younger children might be encouraged to copy the behaviour of not wearing a helment and that the ad should not be screened at times when they might be watching.

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