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ASA Ruling on Jaguar Land Rover Ltd

Jaguar Land Rover Ltd

Abbey Road
Whitley
Coventry
CV3 4LF

Date:

25 June 2014

Media:

Internet (on own site)

Sector:

Motoring

Number of complaints:

1

Complaint Ref:

A14-257625

Ad

Four video ads on the Jaguar website, www.jaguar.co.uk:

a. The first ad opened with the Jaguar logo, then panning shots of different Jaguar cars and close ups of a dashboard and the central gear console whilst there was the sound of an engine being revved as a voice-over stated "Every Jaguar is created to feel alive, so we innovate and use the latest technology not for its own sake, but to create a driving experience that is designed to connect. Intuitive technology that greets you, reacts to you, that is instinctively there when you need it, that always feels alive." There was then high tempo background music and a car was shown driving at speed through a tunnel and crossing over the single white lines in the middle of the road before driving across a mountain road at night, whilst the voice-over stated "Dynamic headlights that react to the car's speed and steering to cast light deeper into corners and add confidence to your night drive." The car was then shown driving in daylight at speed on a mountain road and crossing over the single white lines in the middle of the road as the engine was heard revving and as the voice-over stated "The adaptive dynamics technology reacts twenty times faster than the human eye. It delivers a smooth drive by continuously analysing speed, steering and body movement of the car five hundred times a second, giving every journey an instinctive, stable and agile ride."

There was then a car driving on open land at a very high speed, which was followed by blurred coloured lines. Cars were then shown driving at speed on a mountain road, there were slow motion shots of the cars driving round a bend and close ups of the steering wheel, tyres and a graphical shot of the body's aluminium construction within one of the cars. During these scenes the voice-over stated "Seductive, uninterrupted lines that bring the purity of the design to life, increased performance and agility and a more connected, alive experience between driver and car. It's all thanks to our new lightweight aluminium alloy construction." There was then a sports car driving at speed on a race track, which was then joined by two other sports cars as the voice-over stated "We create cars so distinctive, so instinctive; they are as alive as we are.” The ad ended with the Jaguar logo on screen alongside text which stated “JAGUAR HOW ALIVE ARE YOU", whilst there was the sound of an engine revving.

b. The second ad was a shorter version of ad (a). The ad opened with the Jaguar logo and the voice-over stated "Every Jaguar is created to feel alive." There was then high tempo background music and a car was shown driving in daylight at speed on a mountain road and crossing over the single white lines in the middle of the road as the engine was heard revving and as the voice-over stated "The adaptive dynamics technology reacts twenty times faster than the human eye. It delivers a smooth drive by continuously analysing speed, steering and body movement of the car five hundred times a second, giving every journey an instinctive, stable and agile ride." The ad ended with the Jaguar logo on screen alongside text which stated “JAGUAR HOW ALIVE ARE YOU", whilst there was the sound of an engine revving.

c. The third ad was a shorter version of ad (a). The ad opened with the Jaguar logo and the voice-over stated "Every Jaguar is created to feel alive." There was then a car driving on open land at a very high speed which was followed by blurred coloured lines. Cars were then shown driving at speed on a mountain road, there were slow motion shots of the cars driving round a bend and close ups of the steering wheel, tyres and a graphical shot of the body's aluminium construction within one of the cars. During these scenes the voice-over stated "Seductive, uninterrupted lines that bring the purity of the design to life, increased performance and agility and a more connected, alive experience between driver and car. It's all thanks to our new lightweight aluminium alloy construction." The ad ended with the Jaguar logo on screen alongside text which stated “JAGUAR HOW ALIVE ARE YOU", whilst there was the sound of an engine revving.

d. The fourth ad was a shorter version of ad (a). The ad opened with the Jaguar logo and the voice-over stated "Every Jaguar is created to feel alive." There was then high tempo background music and a car was shown driving at speed through a tunnel and crossing over the single white lines in the middle of the road as the voice-over stated "The beautifully designed dynamic headlights that react to the car's speed and steering to cast light deeper into corners and add confidence to your night drive." The ad ended with the Jaguar logo on screen alongside text which stated “JAGUAR HOW ALIVE ARE YOU", whilst there was the sound of an engine revving.

Issue

The complainant challenged whether the ads were irresponsible, because they believed they glorified speed and encouraged dangerous driving.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

Response

Jaguar Land Rover Ltd (Jaguar) said the footage of the cars on the open highway was filmed in Switzerland on closed sections of road on the Sustenpass and the Grimselpass. Jaguar explained that they wanted to make it clear the roads were closed with the inclusion of a caption in the ads. However, they said this was mistakenly omitted. Jaguar stated that the caption, which had now been included in the ads, stated "FILMED ON CLOSED ROADS WITH A PROFESSIONAL DRIVER. DO NOT ATTEMPT. ALWAYS OBEY LOCAL SPEED LIMITS". Jaguar said the emphasis of the ads was the technical features and abilities of the cars. They explained that there were overlays and cutaways to the technology in play under cornering and the demands of the road and the cars were shown at low speed or slow motion. Jaguar said the shots of the cars crossing lanes on the closed road were specifically to highlight the lightweight construction of the cars for cornering stability and safety.

Jaguar said the ads at no time demonstrated any dangerous driving. They said that despite the fact that an on-screen caption had been mistakenly omitted, they believed it was never the less clear that the roads in the ads were empty and there were no other road users or bystanders present. Jaguar said they did not believe the ads demonstrated unsafe or irresponsible driving and there was no indication that speed limits were broken, rather they stated that the cars were being driven at reasonable and controlled speeds. Jaguar said the edit of lines, revving and high tempo music were almost entirely associated with still shots of the car, or with displays of Jaguar's emblem and so they did not believe there was an association with speeding of the cars. They explained that they believed the main message of the ads was the technology, construction and features of the cars and speed was not the main message of the ads.

Assessment

Upheld

The ASA noted Jaguar's comments that the ad was designed to highlight the technical features and abilities of the cars and that they believed speed was not the main message of the ads. However, we considered that the overall impression of the ads was a focus on the speed and acceleration of the cars. We understood that Jaguar said the cars were being driven at reasonable and controlled speeds. However, we considered that the cars appeared to be driving at high speeds and the acceleration of the cars was further emphasised by the sound of engines being revved, high tempo music and the use of blurred lines following the cars in ads (a) and (c).

We acknowledged that Jaguar said the ads at no time demonstrated any dangerous driving. However, we considered that the cars were depicted driving in a dangerous manner, namely crossing over the single white lines in the middle of the road. We understood that the cars were shown driving on empty roads with no other road users or pedestrians. However, the cars were driving on what appeared to be public roads and driving in a manner that would be irresponsible and illegal on a public road in the UK. We considered that the cars were being handled in a dangerous manner that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly. The ASA acknowledged that Jaguar had amended the ads to  include an on-screen caption, which stated that the ads were filmed on closed roads with a professional driver and advising that viewers always obeyed local speed limits. However, we did not consider that this amendment went far enough to resolve the points of complaint.

Because we considered that speed was the main message of the ads and the ads portrayed the cars being driven in a dangerous manner, we concluded the ads were irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving.

The ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 19.2, 19.3 and 19.4 (Motoring).

Action

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Jaguar not to portray speed as the focus of an ad in future. We also told Jaguar not to portray driving behaviour that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly in future.

How to comply with the rules

For advice and training on the Advertising Codes please visit the CAP website.

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