Scully puts brakes on car ads

Daily Telegraph

Thursday 25 September 2003

No need for speed . . . ‘inappropriate’ ads for Monaro, Mazda and Mitsubishi

By LILLIAN SALEH Political Reporter

ADVERTISEMENTS featuring speeding, high-powered cars could soon be banned from TV screens.

Roads Minister Carl Scully will today call for "inappropriate and dangerous" ads to be dumped and for manufacturers and advertisers to abide by a mandatory code of practice.
He called the current voluntary code a "toothless tiger" that allowed speed to feature prominently in car ads.

Mr Scully, who will today open the 2003 Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference, said the advertisements were "too much of a temptation for hoons and speedsters" and did nothing to encourage safe driving.

More than 570 people were killed on NSW roads last year, with speed the cause in almost half of all fatal accidents.

"My job is to encourage people to drive appropriately to lower the road toll," Mr Scully yesterday told The Daily Telegraph.
"The complete opposite message is being pushed to sell these vehicles."

Mr Scully will next month seek the support of interstate counterparts at a meeting of state roads ministers before lobbying the Federal Government to establish a mandatory code of practice.

The Advertising for Motor Vehicles Voluntary Code of Practice applies to all ads shown in Australia, regardless of when they were produced.

The use of "motor sport, fantasy, humour and self-evident exaggeration in creative ways" is permitted.

Advertisers are also asked to be "mindful of the importance of road safety and to ensure that advertising for motor vehicles does not contradict or undermine efforts to achieve improved road safety outcomes in Australia".

In the past year the RTA made 42 complaints to the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) over what it called "highly inappropriate" advertising.

The complaints involved ads for Holden Monaro, Mazda, Lexus and Mistubishi. The ASB upheld two of the complaints and the ads were pulled.