"Irresponsible" Jaguar advert showcasing hands-free tech is banned by the ASA for encouraging unsafe driving

Rebecca Smith
Jaguar said all of its connected car tech is safe to do while driving
Jaguar said all of its connected car tech is safe to do while driving (Source: Getty)

A Jaguar advert has been called "irresponsible" by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) as it was thought to encourage unsafe driving. It must not appear again in its current form.

The British car firm ran an advertorial article in the Guardian in September last year for its new Jaguar XE, with the text describing drivers using in-built smart technology to check their calendars and use other apps - while on the road.

It said in-car technology was "transforming the commute" and that the driver could listen to music and also "organise your meeting and stay in touch with colleagues and family on the move".

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While the ASA acknowledged using a hands-free mobile was not illegal and the article outlined that the tech being discussed could be used "without compromising safety", it said the UK Highway Code says the use of hands-free kits can be a distraction and that motorists should stop to make or take calls.

Jaguar said: "For all of the connected car technologies we offer our customers, we will always offer what is safe to do while driving."

"The hands-free technology in the Jaguar XE has been developed and tested to allow users to put their phone safely and legally away, and give priority to focus on the driving experience," a spokesperson added.

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The car firm has been told to make sure future advertising does not promote the use of multiple apps and a phone at the same time, leaving drivers unable to have full control of their vehicle.

The ASA upheld two complaints from people concerned the campaign would lead drivers to carry out tasks that were likely to distract their attention from the road.

"The advertorial featured the headline claim 'drive time is no longer downtime'. We considered readers would interpret this to mean that drivers could now perform various other tasks whilst driving," the ASA said.

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