Car advertisers pulled over for speeding

B&T Weekly

Tuesday 2 April 2002
Sarah Plaskitt

A MEETING to tackle the issue of establishing an industry code for speed in
motor vehicle advertising has been set for April 10 in Canberra.

The meeting will be chaired by Senator Ron Boswell, Parliamentary Secretary
for Transport and will be attended by industry stakeholders.

Boswell said the move follows community concern at the increasing number of
car advertisements that place undue emphasis on speed, power and aggressive
driving behaviour.

He said a submission with suggestions for a more comprehensive voluntary
code was recently sent to the advertising and motor vehicle industry for
consideration prior to the meeting.

Boswell has proposed more comprehensive and specific guidance for
manufacturers and advertisers in line with the codes used in the UK and New

Advertising Federation of Australia executive director Lesley Brydon said it
had been monitoring developments on the issue and it was important that the
industry addressed community concerns.

The Pedestrian Council of Australia has also again recently raised the issue,
calling for tougher restrictions on the depiction of speed in car
advertising. The head of the body Harold Scruby, speaking recently on
morning radio, called for the sacking of the Advertising Standards Board for
its lack of action on the issue.

“We recognise that there are concerns in segments of the community,
particularly among motoring organisations, regarding some advertisements,”
Brydon said.

Brydon said that while the AFA did not want to limit the creative flair and
use of humour and fantasy in this style of advertising it recognised that
speed was a contributing factor in road accidents.

“It must be remembered that advertising agencies in Australia have built
some of the most successful road safety campaigns in the world—we are
certainly aware of our social responsibilities in this area.”

“It is important that it is a ‘whole-of-industry’ approach involving the
motor vehicle manufacturers and importers (the Federal Chamber of Automotive
Industries), the Australian Association of National Advertisers, and
advertising agencies,” Brydon said.

“The advertising industry has already developed a range of successful
voluntary codes on issues such as alcohol advertising, weight management
(slimming) advertising and guidelines on advertising to children.”