Vauxhall ad banned for ‘condoning’ speeding

An outdoor ad for a Vauxhall Astra car has been banned for its potential to encourage people to drive dangerously.

Vauxhall ad
Vauxhall outdoor ad banned by ASA for ‘condoning dangerous driving’.

The ad, created by McCann Erickson, depicted two stationary cars in an empty warehouse with the text: “Astra VXR Shortens Straights. Straightens Corners”.

It prompted a complaint claiming the ad was “irresponsible” because it “condoned and encouraged speeding and dangerous driving”.

General Motors (GM), which manufactures the model, said both cars in the ads were deliberately shown as stationary to ensure the creative did not suggest speed. To further enforce the point, text at the footer of the ad stated “Vauxhall does not condone irresponsible driving”.

The car marque said “Shortens Straights” referred to the driving experience of the vehicle, which was made more pleasurable and less arduous due to its suspension design. “Straightens Corners” referred to the chassis technology, which provides safer cornering, GM claimed.

The Advertising Standard Authority agreed “Straightens Corners” would be seen by viewers as a claim about the car’s handling but said the claim “Shortens Straights” would be interpreted to mean the vehicle made straight stretches of road shorter by covering them more quickly.

It ruled this therefore made speed the main message of the ad, which breaches the CAP Code requiring brands must not make speed or acceleration the main message of their marketing communications.

The ASA also added the inclusion of the “Shorten Straights” claim “condoned irresponsible driving” and ruled the ad must not appear again.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest 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 will be your guide.


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

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

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