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Honda Civic Type R Ad Banned for Encouraging Speeding

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A Honda Civic Type R speeds by in the European car commercial, "Keep Up"

A Honda Civic Type R speeds by in the European car commercial “Keep Up”

A European Honda commercial promoting the Civic Type R and other new models has been banned from British airwaves. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a UK advertising watchdog group, determined that the ad promoted “dangerous and irresponsible driving,” and has said it must not be shown on television again in its current form.

The 40-second spot, “Keep Up,” began airing in February.

If you’re not too terribly impressionable, go ahead and take a look at it for yourself:

In case you couldn’t catch all of them, the Hondas shown in the commercial include the all-new HR-V crossover, the Jazz (the European version of the Fit), the Civic Type R, the HondaJet, and finally, the NSX. It’s very similar to the recently-released “Honda Ignition” spot, another European ad which celebrates the Japanese automaker’s record year for product launches, in this case by arranging the new vehicles in the shape of a rocket.

According to Honda, the point of the commercial (a sort of impromptu speed-reading course) is to show that the Honda brand itself is growing at impressive speeds, and inspire viewers to accelerate their own advancement, as indicated by the line, “Keep pushing and get to better faster” [emphasis added].

The ASA, however, apparently interpreted the whole thing a bit more literally.

“While the ad did not include realistic depictions of the vehicles being driven in a dangerous manner, we considered, when taken altogether, the fast changing on-screen text, references to ‘pushing yourself’ and ‘going faster,’ the scenes of the cars, sound effects and accompanying sound track was likely to leave viewers with the impression that speed was the central message of the ad,” said the ASA.

“For those reasons, we therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code, which states that speed must not be the main message of an ad.”

By the way, this is the same ASA that didn’t think that a controversial weight-loss dietary supplement ad which placed the phrase “Are You Beach Body Ready?” next to an image of an impossibly skinny, bikini-clad woman “implied that a different body shape to that shown was not good enough or was inferior.”

But good job, ASA. We wouldn’t want anyone buying a 306-horsepower Type R with a top speed of 168 mph because they were under the dangerous impression that such a car might be, you know, fast.