AIB ad with child in car banned for showing ‘unsafe practices’

Complaints to ASAI said child was not correctly fastened and had thick coat

The advertisement featured real home video footage taken by a car loan customer surprising his partner and young child with a new car.  Stock photograph: Getty Images

The advertisement featured real home video footage taken by a car loan customer surprising his partner and young child with a new car. Stock photograph: Getty Images

 

An AIB television advertisement “must not reappear in its current form again,” the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled.

The advertisement featured real home video footage taken by a car loan customer surprising his partner and young child with a new car.

His partner is shown sitting in the driver’s seat looking straight ahead. Her right hand is on the steering wheel, while her left hand releases the handbrake.

As the car begins to move, she turns her head, appearing to very briefly glance at the rear view mirror, before appearing to look at her partner in the passenger seat and smiling while the car is moving away.

Eleven complainants considered that the advertisement had portrayed “unsafe practices” which included the child not being correctly fastened into his car seat and that the driver had not carried out the necessary safety checks.

Some complaints focused on the fact the child was wearing a thick coat, which they said “was dangerous in the event of an accident and was contrary to safety recommendations”.

Others complained the seat belts were too loose on the child.

AIB said they did not agree that they were encouraging or condoning dangerous behaviour or unsafe practices. They referred to the Road Safety Authority’s guidelines regarding forward facing car seats and loose straps.

Regarding the thick coat, AIB said “the parents made the judgement on the day as to what was appropriate clothing for their child and that their child was safe and secure in his car seat before setting off on their short journey to trial their new car”.

Onus on advertisers

The ASAI accepted that the footage shown was a “snapshot” of the full event and was used to portray the moment the driver received her new car.

It deemed the loose seat belt straps and the wearing of the thick jacket was outside the RSA’s guidelines.

“The Committee noted that the Code requires that a marketing communication should not condone or encourage dangerous behaviour or unsafe practices,” the ASAI said.

“They considered that there was an onus on advertisers to ensure that in circumstances where a car is being used, such as in this advertisement, children and others are portrayed in a safe manner.

“They also considered that advertisements should be edited in a manner that unsafe practices are not shown.”

The ASAI released 20 case reports on complaints recently investigated on Thursday morning. It ruled that a cinema ad from Nissan should also not appear in its current form again.

The ‘No More Nice Car’ ad shows a young boy being bullied and as a result his sister takes up martial arts.

The boy is confronted by the same bully again when he is older and his sister successfully comes to defend him. The three young people all transform into cars, including the new Nissan Micra.

Complaints received by the ASAI included objection to it being shown before a 12A rated movie along with the portrayal of bullying and how it implied that the only way to deal with it was through more violence.