The TV ad for the Lexus LC500 has been banned for the second time after the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) received complaints due to its depiction of “speeding and rapid acceleration.”
The ad was first aired with shots featuring rear wheels spinning momentarily as the LC500 took off on an unsealed road, and shots of the car appearing to drive quickly along empty highways.
The original complaint published and upheld by the ASB says:
“The ad clearly depicts speeding and rapid acceleration which is illegal, dangerous and against the advertising code.
“The ad shows and encourages excessive speed and when our government’s road safety message of every kilometre over the speed limit is a killer this ads total disregard for road rules and encouragement the speed is a bad example for younger drivers.
“The advertisement was all about the power and speed of the vehicle. It had no regard to the fact that speed and motor vehicles kills people.
“As a former police I have put people in body bags after accidents and it is not pleasant. How about preventing advertisements that encourage speeding.”
Lexus responded by removing the shot of rear tyres on gravel and slowing down two sections of footage that depicted highway driving, though another complaint was lodged after the alterations were made.
“Hi I have complained about this ad before as have others as we had our complaint upheld that it breached the rules but Lexus could appeal that which they have done and won because I just saw the ad again.
“Please tell me what is the point of all this? If the rules are broken they are broken if I don't stop at a stop sign and get fined by the police I can't appeal that a rule is a rule no grey area a stop sign means I must bring the car to a stop an ad brakes a rule it must stop how did it get back on the air?”
Lexus responded, again:
“Lexus feel [sic] confident that modifications made addressed the concerns raised by the ASB.
“Further, Lexus notes the following:
i. the Advertisement last aired on free-to-air television on 23rd September 2017;
ii. at this point in time there is no further media scheduled for the Advertisement.
“In acknowledgement of the Complaint, Lexus are prepared to make modifications to the advertisement prior to the purchase of any further air time.”
The advertisement, which features footage of the speedo approaching 90km/h, was once again banned by the ASB, despite no longer airing.
Visuals in the ad are paired to audio of a promotional review by bestselling fiction author James Patterson commissioned by Lexus.