15 Nov 2012

Toyota GT86 - Cinema and online advert banned

Mike Armstrong reports on the furore surrounding the Toyota GT86 advert

A cinema and online advertisement for Toyota's new sports car, the GT86, has been banned by the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority)

The advertisement featured the protagonist, a man bored of the conventions of modern driving, seeking out a more thrilling experience in the company's new GT86. Set in a CGI world, inspired by that of the Grand Theft Auto series by Rockstar Games, the plot culminates with the protagonist driving in a very spirited manner through the city streets.

Two complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) stated that the clip was "irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving". As a direct result, Toyota's new advertising campaign has officially been banned.

Toyota attempted to argue that the advertisement demonstrated "exhilaration" rather than being "in response to speed or racing". Furthermore, the advertisement was set in a futuristic, animated world, which supposedly does not reflect normal driving circumstances on conventional roads.

ASA chose not to buy Toyota's defence, on the basis that the video did appear to contain driving in a reckless manner. Further emphasis was placed upon the shocked bystanders throughout the alleged time period.

The ASA concluded: "Because we considered the ad portrayed speed, and the way the car could be handled in a manner that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving".