A sales promotion by rogue advertiser Wicked Campers has fallen foul of the advertising watchdog, on this occasion for encouraging the smoking of cannibis while driving.
The internet promotion – which invites its young target market to enter the promo code IMSTONED – prompted complaints from the public that the caravan rental company was “encouraging dope addicts to drive caravans”.
Copy from the promo – which is still live despite the Ad Standards Board’s ruling that it should be discontinued – reads:
If you’re really naughty and enjoy an occasional spliff (even though it’s ILLEGAL) then call our Roadtrip Planners (they’ve been sniffing glue…but that’s not illegal) and tell them you’re a massive pot head…and we’ll give you a crazy discount on your campervan hire!
One complaint read: “Linking and condoning the use of mind altering substances to sell vehicle hire is totally inappropriate. It appears to encourage such behaviour while driving. In my view this ad is promoting behaviour likely to put all road users, including those it appeals to, at risk.”
Another complainant bemoaned the free publicity that Wicked Campers gets from “bad advertising”.
“Your prompt but private attention to this matter would be appreciated because this company seems to thrive on bad advertising that they get for free when things like this blow up in the media,” they said.
As is typical of the company – which has had more complaints made against it than most – Wicked Campers has not responded to the ASB’s determination that the promotion
should be stopped.