Latest Decisions: Volvo ad breached Code, Pedigree ad removed, and more

The following decisions have been released to the ASA website:

Pedigree TV ad withdrawn following complaints

The television advertisement for Pedigree Parenting, a pet adoption initiative, shows a man and woman speaking at a children’s playground. When asked which child is hers, the woman replies saying she is not sure where he is and that he was playing near the bushes, is popular with strangers and will follow anyone with a treat. The advertisement cuts to the woman walking away with her dog. The advertisement ends with the text “Take a baby step into parenting. Adopt a dog at”.

Four complainants were concerned the advertisement was offensive, insensitive and normalised child abuse and neglect.

The Chair accepted the complaints to go before the Complaints Board and a response was requested from the Advertiser. The Chair acknowledged the Complainants’ concerns and noted the Advertiser had chosen to withdraw the ad following receipt of the complaints. The Chair said given the Advertiser’s self-regulatory action in removing the advertisement, the complaints were Settled.

Volvo TV ad breached Code by condoning driving while fatigued

The OnDemand TV ad for Volvo Cars showed parents of young children caring for them in their home. It then showed the woman, who was obviously fatigued through lack of sleep, driving her Volvo car on the open road. When she starts to fall asleep at the wheel her car veers towards an oncoming vehicle. The woman wakes at the sound of a truck’s horn, and when her car automatically self-corrects and moves back into the correct lane. The advertisement ends with a scene implying another early start for the woman, and the text “The car that looks after you, like you look after others. Volvo XC60 with Lane Keeping Aid. For everyone’s safety.”

Six Complainants were concerned the advertisement sent the wrong safety message and
promoted getting behind the wheel of a car when fatigued.

The Complaints Board unanimously agreed the advertisement portrayed a situation condoning the unsafe practice of driving while fatigued, which is not justifiable on educational or social grounds.
The Complaints Board said the advertisement was not saved by the inclusion of the text “Driver is responsible for the vehicle at all times”.

The Complaints Board noted that Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has had an advertising campaign highlighting the dangers of driving while fatigued and that driver fatigue causes fatalities and serious injury crashes in New Zealand each year.

The Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Upheld, and the advertisement is not to be used again.