Stirred by a Bond ad

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

Sunday 8 December 2002

By transport writer ROD SMITH

THE Advertising Standards Bureau will investigate a television commercial for a James Bond-style Jaguar car, amid claims that it breaks new rules.

The Pedestrian Council of Australia believes the Jaguar advertisement breaks laws about "unsafe and reckless" driving that came into force on December 1.

"The Jaguar ad depicts a 'James Bond' Jag, fully equipped with rockets and rocket launchers, being driven at speed on ice, doing four wheel drifts and 360degree spin-outs," council chairman Harold Scruby said.

"All these activities are against the code." The bureau's board - whose members include author Thomas Keneally, SBS newsreader Mary Kostakidis, former Olympic swimmer John Konrads and former test cricketer Geoff Lawson - will examine the complaint this week.

It will be the first test of the Federal Government's Motor Vehicle Advertising Code.

A bureau spokesman said that if the complaint was upheld, the ad was likely to be removed.

"If the complaint is upheld, the board can request that the advertiser modify or remove the advertisement," the spokesman said.

"To date, there have been no cases where motor vehicle advertisers have not accepted the ruling of the Advertising Standards Bureau."

Under the code, advertisements are banned when they portray "unsafe driving, including reckless and menacing driving" that contravenes State and federal laws.

The council's complaint about the Jaguar commercial also asked the board to examine advertising for the new Saab 9.5 by Sydney dealer Rick Damelian.

"The Saab 9.5 ad depicts a vehicle being driven at high speed and changing lanes without an indicator," Mr Scruby said.

Such advertisements should not have made it on to TV screens in the first place, he said.

"They should be vetted before they are put on air."