Car Advert Banned For Noisy Engine

Thu 15th Jul 2021

A radio advert showcasing the BMW M brand has been banned in the UK after a listener complained that the sound of the engine revving was ‘irresponsible’.

In what seems to be one of the more spurious complaints the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) might have received, the advert was actually deemed to be breaking the code, as motoring advertisements should never demonstrate power, acceleration or handling characteristics with also demonstrating that they are happening in a safe environment.

German brand BMW argued that as the BMW M is a sports performance car they were within their rights to demonstrate the different sound of their engine and that the engine noise was only played for less than one second in a 30-second advert and there was no suggestion that the vehicle was bring driven at speed.

However the ASA upheld the complaint saying that speed and acceleration appeared to be the main message of the advertising campaign and could encourage dangerous or irresponsible driving.

The ASA ruling said ``However, because the ad demonstrated the power of the car, not in the clear context of safety, and in a way that suggested excitement, we concluded it was in breach of the code.

“We told BMW UK to ensure that future ads did not demonstrate power – except in the clear context of safety – or in a way that suggested excitement.”

A BMW spokeswoman said: “BMW UK accepts the decision of the ASA and this advert will not be broadcast again.”