Take a look at the video above. Seems fairly innocuous, doesn’t it? If you ask the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), however, and the 12 people who somehow found the time to complain about the cinema-aired advert, and you’ll be told it encourages using “driving as a way of relieving anger”. Erm, does it?
Ford’s response to the complaints was that the “intention was to contrast the everyday frustrations of work life with the freedom of driving a new Ford Mustang,” the ASA report states. The organisation disagreed, however, taking particular exception to the manner in which the Mustang was driven out of the car park nearer the end of the advert.
The ASA even had an issue with the recital of the famous Dylan Thomas poem ‘Do not go gentle into that goodnight’. Specifically, with the line “Rage. Rage, against the dying of the light”. The ASA said that parts of the poem “further reinforced that [releasing pent-up aggression while driving] by encouraging motorists to drive in an aggressive manner.”
The advert was deemed to have broken CAP (Committees of Advertising Practice) code 19.2, which states that “Marketing communications must not condone or encourage unsafe or irresponsible driving”. The advert can’t be shown again in its current form (although it is - at time of writing - still on YouTube), and Ford has been warned “that their advertising must not encourage unsafe driving.”