ASA Adjudication on Yahoo! UK Ltd
Yahoo! UK Ltd
125 shaftesbury ave
25 May 2011
Internet (on own site)
Computers and telecommunications
Number of complaints:
An ad on a login screen, for an e-mail service provider, was headed "Faster is funner. Introducing the 2x faster New BT Yahoo! Mail. Find out more about BT Yahoo! Mail Beta". The ad pictured two females in a convertible sports car. The passing scenery was blurred.
Two complainants challenged whether the ad was likely to cause harm, because he believed it condoned and encouraged excess speed and irresponsible driving.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Yahoo! stated that the ad was in no way related to motoring and believed that the ad did not condone speeding or driving irresponsibly. They explained that the picture and tag line "Faster is funner" were light hearted references to the speed capabilities of their Yahoo! Beta Mail service.
Yahoo! said the blurred scenery was used only to depict that the car was travelling along a mountain path. They stated that the car was not travelling over the speed limit and that no references were made to the actual speed of the car. They approximated that several million viewers had viewed the ad and said that their Customer Care team had received no direct complaints.
The ASA noted that Yahoo! intended the speed capabilities of Yahoo! Beta Mail to be the main focus of the ad. We considered that because the ad showed the car against a blurred background and was headlined "Faster is funner", speed was the key message of the ad.
We concluded that the combination of the headline and the image, portrayed speed in a way that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly and could therefore be seen to condone anti-social behaviour and irresponsible driving.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 4.4 (Harm and offence), 19.2 and 19.3 (Motoring)
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Yahoo! not to portray speed in a way that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly in future.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)