Fantasy card fails reality check

B&T Weekly

Friday 30 May 2003

THE Federal Government is putting pressure on the Advertising Standards Board over its translation of the new automotive code, particularly the use of fantasy in ads as a defence.

Senator Ron Boswell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport John Anderson, has asked the matter be discussed at a meeting between ASB chairman Robert Koltai and a working group comprising the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Australian Automobile Association and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

In a letter to the Pedestrian Council of Australia, Boswell confirmed the code did not specify that ads using "elements of fan-tasy" should be accepted if they breached other areas of the code.

It's understood the ASB has cited the use of fantasy in four instances of not upholding complaints about car ads.

The ads have included one Nissan ad that the PCA alleged depicted several instances of unsafe driving including four-wheel drifts, a vehicle becoming airborne, high speed driving and reckless driving.

The ASB has dismissed another of the PCA's complaints, against a DaimlerChrysler ad for its Viper model that said the 8 litre V8 car would "give most dragsters a run for their money". The PSA believed the ad encouraged the illegal practice of "dragging".