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‘Hoon’ ad ban raises BMW ire

Painting a picture: The BMW Z4 advertisement featured a Z4 creating a colourful pattern.

BMW attacks ‘onerous’ code after Z4 TV commercial banned

BMW logo30 Jun 2009


BMW Australia has agreed not to re-screen an advertisement for its Z4 roadster after a complaint to the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) was sustained.

The complainant said the advertisement, featuring a Z4 spreading different coloured paints by driving around on a warehouse floor, would encourage ‘hoons’ to “spin and burn their tyres on a public road”.

The ASB said the advertisement broke the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries voluntary code of practice and ordered the advertisement not be screened again.

BMW Australia disagreed with the ruling but did not lodge an appeal as it had already finished showing the advertisement.

Company spokesman Toni Andreevski questioned the decision and described the FCAI Voluntary Code of Practice as onerous.

“They have to get a balance, but I think in this case it proves that we don’t have the balance right,” he said.

Mr Andreevski said the voluntary code meant that the depiction of any activity that could be deemed illegal if done on the road (even if it is done on private property) in a car advertisement could lead to it being banned if one person complained.

He said that this only affected the car industry, as advertisements for other products as well as coverage of motorsport and movies could show cars being driven illegally.

“Does this mean we should ban V8 Supercars or Formula One because the cars do more than double speed limit? How about banning Underbelly because there are illegal car chases?” he said.

Mr Andreevski said the portrayal of vehicles in motorsport and TV shows was more likely to encourage illegal driving than car advertisements.

“Watching a movie hero driving in a dangerous way is going to have more of an effect on younger people, and I’m sure there are a few people probably try and emulate their favourite V8 Supercar drivers on the road.”

Subsequent reports of the advertisement’s banning led to a huge spike in page views at the Z4 commercial’s website.

Mr Andreevski said Australia was the only country to have banned the Z4 commercial.

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