A TV ad for Universal Music TV, seen on 13 May 2016, promoted a CD titled “Sing Your Heart out 2016” and featured shots of a number of drivers and passengers singing and dancing along to the album. Three drivers were shown to lift their hands from the steering wheel and two drivers were shown to glance at other passengers while driving.
The complainant, who believed the ad encouraged dangerous driving, objected that the ad was irresponsible.
Universal Music TV stated that they had consulted with Clearcast and had made a number of different versions of the ad before Clearcast had confirmed that the ad was suitable for transmission. They said that they took the suitability of their commercials very seriously.
Clearcast said that while there were some playful aspects to the video, the core driving elements on display were handled with appropriate seriousness. They stated that the overall body language of the majority of the drivers were concentrated towards the road, and the individuals who were shown to be moving a little more and glancing at passengers were only doing so when the car was stationary. They explained that any head movements shown by the drivers were minor and all drivers kept their eyes on the road with limited neck movement which showed that they were looking ahead at all times when the car was moving.
Clearcast stated that where the driver’s hands were removed from the wheel, those movements were brief – a tap or a hand clearly placed downwards to the gear stick. They said that the pronounced movement of the young girl with her hand on her chest was at a moment when the car was in a stationary position.
Clearcast stated that the passengers were shown to be somewhat more exuberant but gave an air of being lost in the music rather than actively seeking to entice the driver to act irresponsibly. They said that the voice-over was limited to discussion of singing and made no direct call to action for viewers to consider it as driving music and therefore did not specifically condone singing in the car.
The ASA considered that although passengers and drivers were shown to be singing and dancing along to the music, the drivers’ movements were not particularly vigorous and their focus remained on the road ahead throughout, with only very brief glances at passengers.
There were three occasions where the drivers were shown to lift a hand off the wheel. These, however, were only momentary, and on two occasions the vehicles were visibly stationary. We considered that the drivers were not shown to be distracted by the passengers and appeared to be in full control of their vehicles. We therefore concluded that the ad did not encourage dangerous or irresponsible driving.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code (Edition1) rules 1.2 1.2 Advertisements must be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the audience and to society. (Social responsibility), 4.4 4.4 Advertisements must not include material that is likely to condone or encourage behaviour that prejudices health or safety. (Harm & Offence) and 20.1 20.1 Advertisements must not condone or encourage dangerous, competitive, inconsiderate or irresponsible driving or motorcycling. Advertisements must not suggest that driving or motorcycling safely is staid or boring. (Motoring), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.