Volkswagen TVC Accused Of Child Abuse And Neglect

Volkswagen TVC Accused Of Child Abuse And Neglect
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The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has received multiple complaints about a Volkswagen Australia TVC which showed a couple forgetting their daughter was in the car.

The tagline is ‘Easy to forget it’s a family car’. Check out the campaign:

The ASB received a whole host of complaints, including:

  • Considering the amount of child abuse and neglect that is prevalent in our society these days should we really be using neglect of a child in a so called amusing and dismissive way just to sell a car? I find this ad very offensive
  • The advertisement is extremely disturbing considering the amount of children that have accidentally been left in vehicles and have been seriously injured or have died as a result
  • Seriously what’s wrong with these people!!! There’s such a huge danger of forgetting that your child is in the back seat of your car and they are boiled alive (especially in Australia heat), yet this ad prides itself on the fact that you’ll forget your kid is even in the car!
  • It is in such bad taste to make fun of FORGETTING YOUR CHILD IS IN A CAR!!!
  • The advertisement seems to be making this as a humorous, even light hearted case. Completely in contrast to the tragic cases where children (and pets) have died. This is very poor tastes.

In response, a Volkswagen Australia representative said: “The advertisement clearly makes use of humour and quite obvious exaggeration regarding everyday situations with children in the car. The child in the advert is never shown as being left alone in the car and is with an adult at all times and in all scenes.

“At no point does the child appear to be in distress, and much of the focus of the advertisement is put on the humour of the child’s reactions to each situation.

“The suggestion that the advertisement advocates that parents leave children unattended in cars or encourages the abandonment of children in cars is taking the literal message of the advertisement too far.”

The ASB agreed with Volkswagen, ruling that “the scenes featuring the goldfish, artwork and ice-cream were humorous and light-hearted. The Board noted that in each of these scenes at least one of the parents was still in the car with the girl and there were no health and safety concerns present”.

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