Adverts for Jaguar have been banned for focusing on the cars’ speed and encouraging dangerous driving.
The four video ads on Jaguar’s website showed a car driving at speed through a tunnel and crossing over the single white lines in the middle of a road, before driving across a mountain road at night.
Another scene showed a car driving on open land at high speed, while voice-overs said: “The adaptive dynamics technology reacts 20 times faster than the human eye. It delivers a smooth drive by continuously analysing speed, steering and body movement of the car 500 times a second, giving every journey an instinctive, stable and agile ride.”
The ads ended with the Jaguar logo alongside text reading: “Jaguar. How alive are you?” to the sound of an engine revving.
One viewer complained that the ads were irresponsible because they “glorified speed and encouraged dangerous driving”.
Jaguar said the footage of the cars on the open highway was filmed in Switzerland on closed sections of road on the Susten Pass and the Grimsel Pass, but a caption making this clear was mistakenly omitted.
The company said the ads’ emphasis was the technical features and abilities of the cars, and the shots of the cars crossing lanes on the closed road were specifically to highlight the lightweight construction for cornering stability and safety.
It said the ads “at no time demonstrated any dangerous driving”, and there was no indication that speed limits were broken.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the overall impression of the ads was a focus on the speed and acceleration of the cars, emphasised by the sound of engines being revved, high tempo music and the use of blurred lines.
It noted that the cars were driving on what appeared to be public roads and in a manner that would be “irresponsible and illegal” on a public road in the UK.
The ASA said: “We considered that the cars were being handled in a dangerous manner that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly. The ASA acknowledged that Jaguar had amended the ads to include an on-screen caption, which stated that the ads were filmed on closed roads with a professional driver and advising that viewers always obeyed local speed limits. However, we did not consider that this amendment went far enough to resolve the points of complaint.
“Because we considered that speed was the main message of the ads and the ads portrayed the cars being driven in a dangerous manner, we concluded the ads were irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving.”
It ruled that the ads must not appear again in their current form and told Jaguar “not to portray speed as the focus of an ad in future… and not to portray driving behaviour that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly in future”.