ASA slams Volvo again for ads which emphasise speed

Volvo’s attempts to dispel its image as a maker of cars which are dull to drive has prompted its third condemnation in eight months for using advertising which focuses on speed.

The Advertising Standards Authority has asked the car manufacturer to withdraw a national press ad for the Volvo V40 T4.

The ad shows an open parachute, a launched ejector seat and pilot behind the car. Created by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, the ad claims ‘The top speed is 148mph. To the warm glow of satisfaction that comes from owning a Volvo, you can now add the cold tingle of anticipation.’

In its latest monthly report, the ASA concluded that the ad could encourage irresponsible driving because its overall message was that the car could be driven at high speed safely and in comfort.

In August last year, the ASA asked Volvo to withdraw an ad for the S70 T-5 which depicted a rocket, stopwatch, sprinter and a fireball behind the car.

It also advised Volvo against using associations between racing and road models after a complaint was received for the ad for the S40 car last October.

The ASA also upheld 52 complaints relating to a poster and an advertisement in Time Out magazine for Prodigy’s single Smack My Bitch Up. Advertisers have been urged to consult the Copy Advice Team before advertising songs with potentially offensive titles.

A catalogue promoting Jigsaw Menswear intended to be reminiscent of Sixties’ TV series The Saint has also been criticised for showing men in dangerous situations. The ASA has asked the company to withdraw the promotional catalogue.


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