I saw the latest Hyundai ad last night and quite liked it. This morning, reading the paper over my Weeties, I find out my pleasure will be no more.
AUSTRALIA’S advertising watchdog has yanked a television ad for a car off the air after viewers voiced fears that it might encourage toddlers to jump behind the wheel of the family car.
The Advertising Standards Bureau yesterday told Hyundai to pull its “Next Generation” ad, which shows a toddler getting behind the wheel of a Santa Fe four-wheel-drive, putting on a seatbelt and picking up another child hitchhiking along the road.
The board said it had received more than 80 complaints about the ad. Several weeks ago, Hyundai had voluntarily moved it to a later time slot to appease viewers concerned about its effect on young children.
But the bureau said the ad did not comply with the code that governs vehicle advertising.
“The board certainly acknowledged that the notion of a toddler driving a car was unrealistic and fanciful, but under the (code of practice), fantasy cannot be used when it contradicts, circumvents or undermines the code,” bureau chief executive Mark Jeanes said. “Many of the complaints were from parents concerned that the advertisement would encourage copy-cat behaviour in young children and might lead to accidents.”
Hyundai spokesman Richard Power said yesterday that the company was disappointed with the ruling, but it would “not query the referee’s decision”.
“Hyundai maintains the ad is patently aimed at adults and its blatant fantasy is the foil for the literal liberties taken in the driving sequences,” he said.
So sit your under-5s here to let them absorb the message the wowsers don’t want them to hear.