These reports are case summaries of complaints which appeared to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of the ITC Advertising Standards Code. Summary statistics of non-substantive complaints can be found in the full reports which are obtainable from the ITC.
Bacardi Breezer – 9 Lives
Complaint from: 1 viewer
An advertisement for Bacardi Breezer showed a woman in a sports car swerve to avoid a cat that had run into the road. The cat then jumped into the car and they drove off together.
A viewer complained it was irresponsible that an advertisement for alcohol should feature a car because it implied that drinking and driving was acceptable.
The ITC was further concerned by the portrayal of what appeared to be fast and dangerous driving. Code rule 11.9.1 states that “no advertisement may encourage or condone dangerous, inconsiderate or irresponsible driving”.
The BACC believed that although the advertisement was for an alcohol brand, there was no suggestion that the driver had been drinking. If there had been, it would not have been approved for broadcast. As to the driving sequence itself, it was filmed with a zoom effect to enhance tension and to give the impression of fast action. However, the BACC did not think the act of braking to avoid the cat implied the driver was speeding.
The advertiser said a TVR sports car was chosen for its stylish image rather than to imply speed. And the open top model allowed a good view of the driver. The commercial did not show the driver speeding but merely taking evasive action to avoid the cat.
The ITC had some reservations that an advertisement for alcohol should feature a fast car that was apparently being driven without due care and attention. However, on this occasion, it agreed there was no suggestion that the driver had been drinking and did not judge the commercial was in breach of the ITC Code in this respect. Nevertheless, it reminded the BACC that any advertisement for alcohol featuring driving sequences should be given careful consideration.
The ITC judged that the sequence where the driver brakes to avoid the cat portrayed dangerous driving practice and did not agree that it merely showed somebody taking evasive action. The driver's decision to brake suddenly caused the car to skid dangerously for a length of time which suggested the car was being driven too fast, this was reinforced by sound effects. The ITC therefore required the advertisement should not be shown again in its current form.
Complaint not upheld but staff intervention Breach of ITC Code 11.9.1.