Peugeot ad banned for condoning dangerous driving by showing man reading text

The ad regulator has banned a Peugeot ad that showed a man reading a text while driving, which it says is in breach of the Highway Code.

Peugeot has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for a TV ad that showed a man reading a text message while driving, which it says is in breach of the legal requirements of the Highway Code.

The ad, which aired in July, showed a man driving through city streets when he was sent a text from a woman at a party saying “I’m bored without you!” which he read on the car’s built-in screen on its dashboard. The driver appeared to react to the text by raising one hand in the air, at which point a man at the party fell into a swimming pool.

Five viewers challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it condoned or encouraged dangerous or irresponsible driving.

In defence, Clearcast and Peugeot say that because the Highway Code permits a driver to adjust music or the radio, they believe the action of the driver in “momentarily” looking at the screen is no worse. They say while the driver took his hand off the wheel, it was only one hand and again only “momentarily”.

They add that at no point did the driver take his eyes off the road and there were few other cars on the road. They also say that the ad was a “fantastical treatment” that put a humorous spin on the technology being advertised.

While the ASA acknowledges these points, it says it considers viewers would interpret the ad as illustrating how drivers could use technology to receive text messages and access information on the built-in screen. And it also highlights that the Highway Code demands drivers avoid distractions such as using hands-free equipment or adjusting music

“We considered that, to show a driver reading a text message (which, even at the eye level at which it was shown in the ad, would have inevitably diverted his attention from the road ahead) and then reacting to it, amounted to a distraction that would have prevented him being aware of, and/or being in control of, other actions that were necessary for safe driving,” says the ASA.

The ASA has banned the ad and told Peugeot to ensure that future ads do not condone or encourage dangerous or irresponsible driving behaviour prejudicial to safety and in breach of the legal requirements of the Highway Code.

Hide Comments2 Show Comments
Comments
  • Frank Kowalski 1 Nov 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Today a new Grand Tour video trailer has appeared for season 2. I wonder whether ASA will ban it for promoting reckless driving because it completely ignores the Highway Code.

    See it for yourselves:
    https://youtu.be/v_NRSoVncJQ

  • Pete Austin 2 Nov 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Roadside advertising boards are responsible for equivalent distraction and, following the ASA’s logic, should also be banned. Likewise all adverts on vehicles. And finally all street furniture that diverts drivers’ attention from the road ahead.

  • Post a comment

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

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

THE BEST CONTENT

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.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

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