Video: The Censor Works: An Ad For Which Automakers Had To Apologize
2023 Author: Natalie MacDonald | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 13:59
For some, advertising is an annoying irritant, for others it is a way of earning money, and for others it is scope for creativity. Automakers and car companies regularly use the services of creative agencies. Sometimes they get real masterpieces, and sometimes the public cannot fully appreciate the creativity. And from time to time, real problems happen.
Volkswagen was accused of racism …
In the wake of anti-racist protests in May 2020, Volkswagen was forced to remove an ad for the new Golf from its Instagram account. The protagonist of the video was a black man who is chased away from the new hatchback of the German brand by a large white hand like a puppet.
In addition, according to the plot, the main character of the video finds himself in a restaurant called Petit Colon ("Little Colonist"), and at some point a slang word is built from animated letters, which in Germany is offensively called blacks. At first, Volkswagen representatives tried to protect the video, but in the end, under pressure from the public, it had to be removed and apologized.
… and sexism
Well, in the summer of 2019, the German automaker was accused of showing women in advertising for an electric e-Golf too homely, and men, on the contrary, more risky and desperate.
The female characters in the video are engaged in cooking, washing and walking with children, while the men are mostly astronauts, travelers and athletes. This gender distinction was deemed unfair, and the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received three complaints against it. Naturally, the video was banned from showing.
Indian Ford Figo and Berlusconi caricature
In 2013, a Ford Figo ad for the Indian market made a big splash. Advertising posters appeared on the Internet, designed to draw attention to the spaciousness of the luggage compartment of the hatchback, created on the basis of the Fiesta.
In one of them, in the driver's seat, a man was depicted, obviously resembling the Italian ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and in the trunk of the car there were three bound girls with gags in their mouths. Another depicted Michael Schumacher carrying Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. In the third, a blonde was driving, suspiciously similar to Paris Hilton, and in the trunk of Figo was the Kardashian family.
The automaker and advertising agency JWT, which created the posters, had to apologize for being so lavish with their celebrity imagery. Although they emphasized that the advertisement was not intended to be used for practical purposes, and it was not approved by Ford.
General Motors and the image of Einstein
In 2010, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem tried to sue the American concern General Motors for more than $ 75,000 for using the image of Albert Einstein in advertising. GMC Terrain print ad featuring a muscular Einstein with e = mc tattooed on his shoulder2, and the slogan "Ideas are sexy too" appeared in People magazine.
The great physicist bequeathed to the university the rights to his heritage - including the visual image. Such use of the portrait of Einstein at the university was considered a distortion of the image of the scientist and humanist. The trial lasted over two years. As a result, in October 2012, the lawsuit was rejected: the court indicated that during the life of Einstein there was no law determining the duration of the rights to his image.
Therefore, it was decided to be guided by the principles of copyright, according to which the image of the scientist had passed into the public domain by the time the advertisement was created.
Veloster and death
Dutch TV did not broadcast the Hyundai Veloster commercial, which used the image of death. The video, produced by Amsterdam-based agency Fitzroy, highlighted the safety of the Hyundai Veloster, which only has a tailgate on the right (curb side) so that passengers always go out onto the sidewalk and not onto the road.
"Death" in a black hoodie and with a scythe could not "help" the heroine of the video to get out of the Veloster onto the roadway right under the wheels of the pickup truck following past. Although in the case of the Ford Focus hatchback, she succeeded. Even the Hyundai management itself considered the video too shocking and limited its use on television with its own hand. Although, maybe it's all about possible claims from Ford?
Toyot and French Greens
A French court in 2012 banned Toyot from advertising the capabilities of its SUVs. Images of RAV4, Land Cruiser and Hilux vehicles against a backdrop of pristine wilderness have outraged the French environmental organization (FNE).
Wildlife advocates went to court, and he sided with them. The court concluded that such advertising promotes behavior that is contrary to the conservation of natural resources, and ordered the French dealership of the Japanese brand to remove the videos and advertisements under the threat of a fine of 100 euros for each day of their misuse.
Toyot complied with the court's decision, while expressing surprise at this outcome of the case: after all, the appropriate permission was requested to shoot the advertisement, and several scenes were generally filmed in the pavilion.
The distribution of Toyota's ads also got into the UK. In this case, we are talking about a promo video dedicated to the GT86 coupe. The one where most of the video sports car cheerfully drives through the virtual city, and then breaks the glass and finds itself in the real world.
A couple of Britons complained about this very "cheerfully", considering the advertisement as propaganda of irresponsible behavior on the road. Toyota said that in fact, the virtual sports car did not exceed the speed, there is no chase with the police in the video, which means that there is no incitement to violate the law. Anyway, the video just wanted to show that the GT86 drives great.
However, the regulatory authorities did not accept the arguments and banned ads for display.
Volkswagen and security systems
Advertising describing the active safety systems of the Volkswagen Polo hatchback was banned in 2018 in the UK. After the video was released, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) received several complaints stating that the promo video encourages irresponsible driver behavior.
The regulator concluded that the nervous behavior of the passenger in the car in the video, the loud soundtrack, and the general tone of the advertisement provoke drivers to behave irresponsibly. The department also considered that dependence on advanced systems leads to the fact that drivers may overestimate the safety of their vehicle.
In support of its arguments, the agency referred to relevant clauses in the UK advertising market code. Volkswagen tried to object to such conclusions, but in the end was forced to comply.
Omsk car service, Korean cars and dog eating
The Expert Council under the Federal Antimonopoly Service has declared an advertisement for an Omsk car service with the image of a dog immoral. In the advertising slogan of the "Koreyamobil" technical center, which specializes, as you might guess, in Korean cars, it was stated that "the dog was eaten" during the repair of such cars.
The image of a frightened dog from a famous meme with a clear reference to the gastronomic traditions of an Asian country was considered offensive to animal lovers and animal rights activists, and also unacceptable from the point of view of morality. At the same time, the experts had no complaints about the slogan “the dog was eaten”.
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