Because We Don’t Understand Symbolism!

A Toyota advert featuring a car speeding through narrow streets before bursting through a glass barrier has been banned

Eh..? Why?

… for condoning dangerous driving.

*stunned silence*

The ad for the Toyota GT86 was set in an animated virtual world and began with a male character describing not being real until he drove the car, followed by scenes of a chase through narrow streets and the driver exploding through the glass wall on to a real road.Two viewers complained that the ad was irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving.

Those two viewers need to be told to go away and come back when they have looked up the word ‘symbolism’ in the library and then describe it accurately.

But no, this is the UK, where a useless quango has to make itself useful even when it really isn’t:

The car maker said the driver was never shown to be out of control and his behaviour did not endanger himself or others, adding that the ad was set in an artificial environment which was impossible to emulate.

I can well imagine the tone of exasperation with which the Toyota guy must have written that…

However, the ASA said it believed that the driving, and particularly the speeds, could be emulated on real roads.

For what possible reason? I’ve watched quite a lot of advertising this week, but so far I’ve managed to avoid:

a) taking a meerkat to bed,
b) bungee jumping off a bridge with my identical twin,
c) strapping a bulldog into a motorcycle sidecar, or
d) setting up a relationship counselling agency for snowme…err, snowpeople?

So I think we can safely say that normal adults can distinguish between real life and advertising scenarios. But not the ASA, oh, no:

It said: “We also considered that the highly stylised nature of the ad glamorisedthe reckless manner in which the car was driven.”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.”


17 comments for “Because We Don’t Understand Symbolism!

  1. November 28, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I don’t think bureaucrats like symbolism. Cartoonists use it to laugh at them.

    • November 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Except in logo.

  2. Derek
    November 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

    The problem is that these QUANGOS are a bunch of unelected idiots not anserable to anyone. Blair and his pals stuffed them with their pals, who would otherwise never be able to hold down a job that required them to use their brains, if they actually have any. The current bunch of MPs are too busy trying to sort out the mess that Labour left in the economy to have time to sort these idiots out.

    • December 1, 2012 at 7:03 am

      Oh, given the ridiculous things they ARE concerning themselves with, I think they could find the time if they wanted to.

  3. November 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Toyota should tell the ASA to sling their hook. They are an unelected quango with no powers whatsoever other than to pronounce vacuous judgements and to go crying to OFCOM if someone has the balls to confront them.

  4. Tatty
    November 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    So umm…that Aha video would never be on TOTP these days, then.

    Get me, flashin’ my age all over the place… 😳

    • December 1, 2012 at 7:06 am


  5. David A. Evans
    November 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Must mean this advert.

    EDIT: The version at the report is a shortened version.


  6. Twenty_Rothmans
    November 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Well, let’s face it. If the ASA didn’t ban something once in a while, its existence might be called into question. Since Frankel has gone into stud, where would they find another high horse to get on?

    It would tickle me pink if one – no, hang on, all – of these airbag huggers slipped in the bath with nasty consequences. Radox would be in really hot water then.

    But they’re quite right of course, having taken advice from Clive on the subject.
    “Television affects people – they get very influenced by it”

    “I got on a number 18 and got up Golders Green and I must have slaughtered about eighteen thousand before I realised what was I doing.”

    “Television has driven me to this”

    • SteveW
      November 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      Gods alive, I miss Derek and Clive – oddly, I doubt their records (gods alive, I miss vinyl) would make it onto the shelves these days.

  7. November 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Well that is just crazy. I love that ad. T_T

    I even posted on it (and I am only putting this link in because it is absolutely on topic)
    so I am really not meaning to tread on toes OOL.

    • November 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Somebody is tampering with my universe. The video has been withdrawn.

      I’ve found a viral one for the GT86 – I’ve made a point of watching several ads and am now much more attuned to the idea of a Toyota GT86 than I was – and found a particularly satisfying one where a lady sets about a windscreen with a baseball bat.

      Pick the bones out of that, ASA.

  8. Greg Tingey
    November 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Seen the one where the cats capture the milkman?

    • November 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Indeed. Ours are planning on growing opposable thumbs. I think I should be worried.

  9. Tatty
    November 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    There’s an awful lot of smoking going on in them anti-smoker adverts…ban ’em, I say 😐

  10. November 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Full marks to the creatives for picturing the books, plants, hamburger and extra-special whistle for the incandescent lightbulbs.

    I’m not all that interested in cars but “If it’s real you’re after, you gotta know where to look” is inspired positioning. Ten minutes ago you couldn’t have sold me anything other than a granny shopping car. Now….

  11. Furor Teutonicus
    November 28, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Then, I presume, they will be banning the showing of Formular 1 racing?

    I mean, every time I see that, I have this mad urge to try out my Ferrari down the Unter den Linden.

    COULD be dangerous, don’t you know!?

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