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BMW i3 ad banned for promoting street racing

By Cameron Kirby, 17 Oct 2017 News

A new advertisement featuring the all-electric i3 has been banned by the ad watchdog for promoting street racing

BMW i3 ad banned for promoting street racing

THE Ad Standards Board has banned a new advertisement from BMW for portraying “unsafe” and “reckless” driving.

The promotion for the new all-electric BMW i3 features the small hatch lining up against a classic muscle car at traffic lights, before accelerating away.

The other vehicle is seen spinning its wheels as it takes off.

The message “Can lightweight beat heavyweight? From 0-100KM/H in 6.9 SEC. Born electric. The all new electric BMW i3” flashes on screen as the cars launch.

A complaint to the Australian ad watchdog claimed the 30-second clip promoted street racing, and that speeding is “highly offensive”.

BMW responded claiming the ad was intended to depict an older car, juxtaposed against the i3’s new electric technology, “to endorse the power of electricity is better than a classic car, and to discourage vehicles that pollute the environment and create emissions, not to depict a drag race.”


The German manufacture stated the acceleration in the ad was not “excessive” and the driver doesn’t lose control of their vehicles.

It was the spinning wheels of the older muscle car which became a sticking point, highlighted by the Ad Standards Board.

“Road rules clearly state that a person must not drive a vehicle in a way that wilfully makes unnecessary noise or smoke and considered that as the driver of one of the vehicle deliberately accelerates creating smoke and loss of traction, and this is a depiction in breach of the road rules,” the Board noted.

While the complaint was upheld on the basis of unsafe driving, the Board noted the actual speeds of the cars in the ad were not depicted.

“There is no accurate sense of the speed the vehicle is travelling, therefore the vehicles are not shown being driven in excess of applicable legal speed limits in the footage,” it added.