New image backfires on Volvo

The Sydney Morning Herald

Saturday 23 November 1996
By Andrew Hornery

Volvo has been left with egg on its face after a television commercial designed to replace the car-maker's safe and conservative image with a racier one backfired.

In April, Volvo car dealers launched a commercial which showed a Volvo car breaking road rules by crossing into a traffic lane and reaching speeds of 240 km/in while being pursued by a police car.

The final scene in the ad shows the Volvo becoming airborne with a voice saying "we have lift off".

The commercial immediately angered the Pedestrian Council of Australia, which complained to the industry watchdog, the Advertising Standards Council. Volvo asked its dealers to withdraw the ad and for all copies to be destroyed.