The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint over a tweeted posted on the Alpine UK account.
The tweet from the Alpine Cars UK Twitter account, posted on 8 March 2017, said: “Mountains and twisted roads: The #AlpineA110 in it’s [sic] favorite [sic] playground.” It showed a video of the Alpine A110 being driven along the closed Col de Turini mountain road by French racing driver Nicolas Lapierre.
A complainant was concerned that the video “glamourised and promoted dangerous driving,” as it showed the car being driven at speed on a twisty road, including one shot of the car skidding at a corner.
Renault said the focus of the video, which has now been deleted, was not on speed but about “demonstrating agility and handling”. As the car used was a prototype, its speed was limited to ensure it did not exceed 90km/h (around 56mph), and it was filmed on a closed road under the supervision of the Monaco Automobile Club.
Regardless, the ASA upheld the complaint, saying that it “considered that speed and acceleration were the main messages of the ad, that parts of the ad implied excessive speed, and that the ad encouraged and condoned irresponsible and potentially dangerous driving.”
Despite Renault offering to amend the ad with a warning stating that the professional driving should not be replicated on public roads, the ASA ruled that such a message would be insufficient and the ad should never appear again in its current form.
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The tweet was posted a day after the Alpine A110’s official debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The Porsche Cayman rival is powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 250hp. It weighs just 1,080kg and marks a return for Renault’s Alpine sports car brand. The A110 will go on sale in spring 2018.
The ASA has also investigated a TV advert for the Jaguar F-Type which appeared in June 2017. Five viewers complained that the ad’s message, “DON’T JUST TAKE THE CORNER. OWN IT”, promoted dangerous driving. The complaint wasn’t upheld as the ASA considered that “viewers were likely to interpret it as relating to responsible cornering where the driver was very much in control.”