In a breathtaking piece of irony, Volkswagen Australia’s recent ‘Too powerful for TV’ ads depicting its updated Amarok V6 have been banned from TV, after the body charged with processing advertising complaints, Ad Standards, deemed it “unsafe”.
The TV and digital ad uses models and graphics to mock up various scenes of the Amarok overtaking other vehicles, in a cleverly alternative piece of content designed to not attract the ire of the notoriously sensitive Ad Standards board.
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Unfortunately, it didn’t work, with several complaints filed with the board. A single complaint can see an ad pulled from broadcast.
One complaint to the board, for example, suggested the ad “could encourage dangerous overtaking actions,” while another suggested that it was “irresponsible advertising taken by Volkswagen.”
The one scene that appears to have sparked all the outrage is a depiction of a model Amarok passing a pair of model road trains. Ad Standards said the scene – made with models – depicts “driving which is reckless and would breach road rules.”
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The Amarok V6 has been recently updated, with the brand pushing its maximum torque figure of 580Nm from its 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 engine as an advertising tagline. There is a power war of sorts amongst various dual-cab ute competitors that includes Ford’s 500Nm Ranger Raptor and the incoming Mercedes-Benz V6-powered X-Class, which boasts 550Nm.
Volkswagen has agreed to pull the ad – which has won plaudits from the TV industry - but has pointed out the ad features a “fictitious” ad director who has an unrealistic vision of the “world’s most impressive car advertisement”.
"We respect the findings of Ad Standards and of course will adhere to them; but, as the original ad shows, we are acutely aware of the many number of restrictions placed on car advertising in this country, and have several edits of the ad," VW Australia spokesperson Kurt McGuiness told WhichCar.
"Of course, the irony of having the ban placed on the commercial and winning ‘Ad of the Month’ on an advertising industry publication on the same day was not lost on us."