A BMW advert appealing to high-flying business leaders has been banned by the ASA for encouraging irresponsible driving

 
Rebecca Smith
The car firm used the advert to sell its BMW 760Li xDrive
The car firm used the advert to sell its BMW 760Li xDrive (Source: BMW)

Feel the need for speed?

Not good, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), or at least, it's not good to sell cars using speed the main draw.

Which is why BMW has got in a bit of hot water with the advertising watchdog, with a complaint made that the car giant had indeed made speed the message of an ad for its luxury "sports-limo" featured in the Telegraph back in January.

Read more: "Irresponsible" Jaguar ad banned by the ASA for encouraging unsafe driving

The headline said: "Luxury just lost its manners." More text added: "Introducing the BMW M760Li xDrive. M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology. 6.6 litre V12. 610 hp. 0-61mph in 3.7 seconds. For some, the climb to the top is quicker."

The complainant pointed to the Highway Code which prohibits driving without reasonable consideration for other road users, questioning whether the original tagline of the ad gave the green light for irresponsible driving.

BMW said they had included the car spec to inform customers and the target audience was ambitious, high-net-worth business leaders. So, the claim that "for some, the climb to the top is quicker" was actually a reference to climbing to the top of their careers, not a reference to the acceleration of the vehicle.

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The car firm also said the claim that "luxury just lost its manners" was an example of "advertising puffery" and a subjective marketing term that couldn't be linked to irresponsible driving.

The ASA disagreed. It said the advert must not appear again in its current form, telling BMW to ensure it does not make "speed or acceleration the main message of their future marketing communications".

And manners are a must; the advertising watchdog said BMW needs to make sure adverts don't condone or encourage driving without consideration for other road users.

Last month, a Jaguar advert showcasing hands-free tech was banned by the ASA for encouraging unsafe driving.

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