Banned Audi ad shows almost zero driving

Audi R8

BANNED car ads are nothing new. For as long as advertisers have tried to sell cars on the television, there have been complaints about promoting irresponsible driving.

But this banned ad from the United Kingdom takes the cake.

Following a single complaint, an ad for the new Audi R8 which barely shows the car at all, has been pulled from the airwaves.

While we can understand outrage if the car was performing wild slides on public roads, or speeding through a playground full of children, this is just indignation for the sake of it.

While the original television ad no longer exists, you can watch an extremely similar ‘Directors Cut’, on YouTube.

The ad mainly focuses on a CGI eyeball, which dilates as audio of the Audi’s naturally-aspirated V10 is heard, and reflections of a tunnel are seen in the eye’s pupil.

Simple, emotive stuff. It doesn’t actually show the car driving at all until the end of the advertisement, when it is either clearly on a racetrack, or driving slowly in a tunnel.

However, the ad was to be "in breach of the code regulating motoring ads" for promoting irresponsible driving, and was pulled by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.

Audi’s parent company, the Volkswagen Group, released a statement saying the ad was filmed at speeds below 48km/h (30mph).

"The ad was particularly intended to highlight the car's carbon ceramic brakes, the new, naturally aspirated engine, and the 7-speed S-Tronic gearbox", a statement said, while noting a real eye would not work as shown in the ad.

The company behind the film, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, says the clip was designed to evoke a less literal response.

“We considered that viewers would interpret the changes in pupil size as an emotional response to the movement of the car, as represented by the sounds that were audible during eye sequence", it said in a statement.

Bentley was recently forced to remove a clip from its YouTube page following a complaint in Australia. The banned video showed a Bentley Continental GT Speed hitting its maximum velocity in the Northern Territory.

At least the car could be seen doing speed in that film. This is a new level of nanny-state.

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