MG Rover castigated over ‘speed’ campaign

MG Rover has been censured by the Advertising Standards Authority for the second time in three months for emphasising speed in its car ads.

The ASA this week upheld a complaint about a press and poster campaign for the MG range of cars. The ads showed a tilted car against a blurred background with the strapline “The Full Fat, High Caffeine, Maximum Strength MGLIFE’S TOO SHORT NOT TO”.

The watchdog ruled that the ads, created by M&C Saatchi, placed too much emphasis on speed. It ordered MG Rover to consult the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) copy advice team before advertising again.

The move comes less than three months after the ASA upheld complaints about a mail campaign for the same Z series of MG saloons. The campaign used lines such as “Can your head take the rush?”, “Can your nerves bear the buzz?” and “Can your heart stand the thrill?”.

Rival marque Vauxhall Motors escaped more lightly after the ASA dismissed two complaints that poster ads for its Astra SRi put too much emphasis on speed and could encourage dangerous driving.

Complaints about a poster ad for Cadbury’s Snowflake, which showed a bare-shouldered woman sucking a chocolate bar under the headline “How much would you like this girl’s job?”, were also dismissed. The ASA ruled the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.

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