A new BMW social media campaign that appeared on YouTube and Instagram has been banned by the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB).
The ad, in German, features the brand’s new electric i3 vehicle in a drag race scenario with a Dodge Charger from the 60s. The premise being the BMW could outrun its rival to 60kph from a standing start. Check out the offending campaign below:
It’s unclear of the number of complaints, but one person who did said the ad promoted dangerous driving and was offensive to people who’d lost loved ones in motor vehicle accidents.
In its determination, the ASB said: “Advertisements for motor vehicles do not portray …unsafe driving, including reckless or menacing driving that would breach any Commonwealth law or the law of any State or Territory in the relevant jurisdiction in which the advertisement is published or broadcast dealing with road safety or traffic regulation, if such driving were to occur on a road or road-related area, regardless of where the driving is depicted in the advertisement.
“Advertisers should avoid references to the speed or acceleration capabilities of a motor vehicle (for example, 0-100 kph in 6.5 seconds.)”
In its defence, BMW Australia argued the ad wasn’t about street racing at all, instead highlighting the old against the (electric-powered) new.
In a statement, the company said: “The clip demonstrates a comparison of old versus electric, to endorse the power of electricity is better than a classic car, and to discourage vehicles that pollute the environment and create emissions, not to depict a drag race.
“At the 15 second mark, there is slight haze raised from behind the red car, caused by the natural motion of the old fashioned vehicle accelerating, but it is not excessive. At no time are the vehicles speeding nor does the driver lose control of the vehicle.
“The vehicles’ headlights are turned on during the scenes depicted at night-time. In some scenes there are two vehicles that are driving side by side, however they are both within their own lanes and the speed odometer is never shown to imply speeding is occurring.
“The commercial utilises motion lighting effects, and jump cut edits that add energy to the overall clip. The vehicles are never speeding and the clip was filmed under controlled, closed road conditions.”