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Ad Standards pings Mitsubishi spot for unsafe driving practices

Mitsubishi Motors Australia has made modifications to a recent spot featured in its “You Can Count On It” campaign, after Ad Standards upheld a complaint regarding the depiction of unsafe driving practices as per the FCAI Voluntary Code of Practice for Motor Vehicle Advertising (FCAI Code).

The spot, features a number of scenes including a a woman driving onto a beach then letting her dog out of the car, a family standing in the rain as they look at their bogged car and another car pulling the bogged car out of the mud, showing the audience how Mitsubishi can be counted on in every situation.

 

The complaint at hand specifically regarded the bogged car scene, asserting the “technique shown is wrong for the type of bog and equipment used and could lead to severe injury or death if copied by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing”.

Mitsubishi provided a thorough response to the complaint, arguing “the recovery technique that is depicted in the TVC was the subject of (and was filmed in accordance with) specific advice by a subject matter expert from an offroad training organisation”.

Looking at the FCAI Code, The Ad Standards Community Panel (Panel) considered Clause 2(a) , which stipulates “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.”

Here, the Panel determined that the speed with which the engaged the tow strap, in a ‘jerking’ motion, was not aligned to community safety messaging that warns of the risks of snapping tow straps if suddenly made taut.

Mitsubishi complied with the Panel’s determination, and modified the ad to lessen “the visual drama of the scene and provided safer rescue environment” including:

  • “Revised the edit so that the Pajero Sport (rescue vehicle) accelerates at a slower speed
  • Removed the rear ¾ shot of the Pajero Sport that was deemed too jerky
  • Removed the associated sound effect when the recovery cable tightens”
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