The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rapped Jeep UK for encouraging people to seek out dangerous, snowy conditions in a radio advert for the new Cherokee.
Six people complained about the advert, which began with a mock weather forecast stating, “overnight snow has brought severe disruption to much of the country. The Met Office has warned drivers…”
The volume was turn down mid-sentence, and a voice-over stated ‘time to play’. Listeners heard the sound of a car being started with wind blowing in the background and snow crunching under foot. An electronic voice then said, ‘snow mode activated,’ before a voice-over stated: “Make winter your favourite sport with Jeep. This season, get the new Jeep Cherokee.”
The complainants objected that the advert was irresponsible as it encouraged people to drive in dangerous conditions in search of fun, encouraging dangerous driving practices.
Jeep responded by saying that the advert was simply meant to promote the reassurance given to drivers by the four-wheel drive capabilities of the new Jeep.
The company said ‘time to play’ in the voice-over alluded to the fact that the Cherokee was ideal for winter conditions, allowing the driver and passengers to travel to, and take part in, winter activities, such as winter sports.
The ASA upheld the complaints, stating: “the words ‘time to play’ would be understood as a reference to the fun derived from driving in the potentially dangerous conditions using the ‘snow mode’ on the vehicle and that this was further suggested by the voice-over stating ‘make winter your favourite sport.'”
It warned Jeep that the advert must not appear again, and more care should be taken in the future to avoid encouraging dangerous driving.
Peugeot 208 GTi 30th anniversary advert investigated
At the same time as warning Jeep over its radio advert for the Cherokee, the ASA investigated complaints that a TV and cinema advert for the limited edition Peugeot 208 GTi 30th anniversary glamorised speeding and condoned dangerous driving.
In a nod to the original Peugeot 205 GTI advert, the advert for the 30th anniversary 208 GTi showed it drifting along a frozen lake being chased by a Hercules plane and dodging missiles.
Peugeot responded by saying the adverts were “fantastical and not representative of real-life driving capabilities,” as none of the driving took place on public roads.
Created using CGI, the company said “the scene where the car drove up the half-pipe and flipped over the top of the helicopter while the driver gestured at the pilot showed these were impossible feats to emulate with the real 208.”
The ASA agreed with Peugeot, stating that “scenarios in which the 208 was presented were so fantastical and so far removed from reality that viewers were unlikely to see the ads as an actual demonstration of the car’s acceleration, speed or handling.”