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RAV4 ad gets the boot

Published: 6:22PM Thursday May 11, 2006 Source: One News

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld 17 complaints against Toyota's RAV4 advert, saying it is offensive and malicious.

The advert turned the race for the car keys into a battle of the sexes and a battle for survival. But now Saatchi and Saatchi's ad for the popular four wheel drive vehicle has been parked - permanently.

One News revealed in March that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 17 complaints about the ad.

"They decided that it was a breach of the codes, particularly in relation to the issue of safety and also in relation to offensiveness due to the level of domestic violence in the ad," says Hilary Souter from the ASA.

The ASA upheld complaints that the ad:

  • Sent an inappropriate message to children.
  • Was not socially responsible.
  • Would encourage similar behaviour.

Saatchi's had earlier defended the advert, saying they wanted it to be entertaining. The board took that into account and saw that there was some humour in the advert, but they felt on balance that it went that little bit too far.

Saatchi's says the decision is unfortunate and because it disagrees with it the company will appeal.

The irony is that while the RAV4 advert may have been missed the mark with the advertising watchdog it was a smash hit with the viewers, with an industry survey ranking it easily the most popular ad in March.