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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Nissan 'Love/Hate advert' promoted dangerous driving, says watchdog

By David Kearns

Published 24/04/2015 | 15:44

Nidge from 'Love/Hate'
Nidge from 'Love/Hate'

A complaint was upheld against a Love/Hate Nissan promotional tie-in after road chiefs criticised it for “promoting dangerous driving.”

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The Advertising Standards Authority Ireland (ASAI) agreed with a viewer who complained that an advert aired during the last season of Love/Hate,  “appeared to portray speeding as exciting and sexy.”

Featuring a young couple driving through a brightly lit cityscape at night at speed, the promotional spot offered viewers the chance to win a new Nissan Juke worth €28,000.

The Complaint Committee said while it accepted that it had not been the intent of the advertisers to condone unsafe driving practices: “it was inappropriate to show any vehicle being driven in a manner that created the impression of speed except in the context of promoting safety.”

The Road Safety Authority were asked by the ASAI for its opinion on the advertisement after a complaint was made by former MEP hopeful Brid Smith.

The People Before Profit Dublin City councillor said the advert, which featured directly after Love/Hate, made it appear to be “exciting, sexy and cool” to drive at high speed.

She wrote to the ASA saying she considered the advertisers were “irresponsible in promoting speeding, at a time when many young men were dying on Irish roads.”

In its review to the Complaint Committee, the RSA said the advert did not “portray socially responsible driving”, adding that it created an impression “that it was okay to drive fast in an urban setting, even though there was no other traffic.”

The Nissan tie-in offered Love/Hate viewers the chance to win a Nissan Jock Credit: RTE
The Nissan tie-in offered Love/Hate viewers the chance to win a Nissan Jock Credit: RTE

“The driver even appears, at one point, to be out of control and it is unclear if he was wearing a safety belt,” they said.

The Complaint Committee upheld Ms Smith’s complaint on the grounds that the advertisement breached section 2.29 of the Advertising Standards Code.

This section states that: “A marketing communication should not encourage or condone dangerous behaviour or unsafe practices except in the context of promoting safety.”

Nissan Ireland defended the advert, saying that it featured 1.5 diesel vehicle, not a sports car, and that the car in question was driven through a computer generated cityscape, not a real city and no other vehicles were featured in the video.

Adding, that Nissan Ireland would never endorse dangerous driving.

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