Toyota advert banned over dangerous driving fears

The ad featured the car bursting through a barrier
The ad featured the car bursting through a barrier Photo: Toyota

A Toyota advert featuring a car speeding through narrow streets before bursting through a glass barrier has been banned for condoning dangerous driving.

The ad featured a man finding the Toyota car as the only 'real' thing in a simulated world
The ad featured a man finding the Toyota car as the only 'real' thing in a simulated world Credit: Toyota

The advertisement for the Toyota GT86 was set in an animated virtual world and began with a male character describing not being real until he drove the car, followed by scenes of a chase through narrow streets and the driver exploding through the glass wall on to a real road.

Two viewers complained that the ad was irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving.

Toyota told the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that it did not condone or encourage unsafe or irresponsible driving and had paid particular attention to the Highway Code when designing the ad.

After a series of chase scenes through narrow streets the car is driven at a barrier
After a series of chase scenes through narrow streets the car is driven at a barrier Credit: Toyota

The car maker defended the advert saying that the driver was never shown to be out of control and his behaviour did not endanger himself or others, adding that the ad was set in an artificial environment which was impossible to emulate.

It denied there was any reference to the police in the ad and argued that the pursuit scenes had been used to demonstrate the car's handling rather than speed.

The ad featured the car bursting through a barrier
The ad featured the car bursting through a barrier Credit: Toyota

However, the ASA said it believed that the driving, and particularly the speeds, could be emulated on real roads.

We also considered that the highly stylised nature of the ad glamorised the reckless manner in which the car was driven.Because we considered the ad portrayed speed and the way the car could be handled in a manner that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving.

– The ASA

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Toyota not to portray speed or driving behaviour in a way that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly in future.

– The ASA ruling