Audi R8 advert banned following a single complaint
- Credit: PA
Audi's advert for its R8 supercar has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after the organisation received just one complaint from a viewer. The person claimed the ad linked speed with excitement, meaning it was irresponsible. The advert, shown on TV on April 15 this year, focused on the driver's eyeball, which contracted and dilated while the R8 could be heard accelerating through its gears. Next, the car was shown going around a corner in a tunnel in slow motion, then returned to another shot of the eye. Text reading 'More focus, more drive. The all new Audi R8 V10 Plus with carbon ceramic brakes' appeared, before the final shot of the car braking to a halt on what appeared to be a racetrack was shown. While adverts aren't allowed to promote excessive speed as their primary message, Audi claimed the contraction and dilation of the pupil represented focus and concentration, and that the car was shot at speeds below 30mph. Responding to the complaint, Audi said: 'The main message of the ad was that the new R8 was Audi's most focused drive yet, with key features tuned to improve performance and an all-round improved driving experience.
'The ad was particularly intended to highlight the car's carbon-ceramic brakes, the new, naturally aspirated engine – which gives a fuller and sharper sound – and the seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox.' However, the ASA ruled the contraction and dilation of the pupil 'gave an implication of speed and acceleration', and that it was unclear how fast the car was travelling. With regards to the final braking scene, the ASA said: 'The impression given was not one of road safety in general but that the R8 was equipped with brakes sufficient to handle the power and speed previously demonstrated. We therefore did not consider that the presentation of information about the ceramic brakes constituted a context of safety.' It was finally concluded that the ad linked speed with excitement, with the ASA ruling the ad must not be shown again, and that Volkswagen Group should avoid similar depictions in future adverts.
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