A BRITISH car maker has been banned from running advertisements that encourage motorists to multitask at the wheel.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said promotional material for the new Jaguar XE was irresponsible because it was likely to encourage “unsafe driving practices”. Jaguar Land Rover was ordered to ensure that future advertising did not promote the use of apps and a phone at the same time: any driver following this suggestion would not be in full control of their vehicle.
The ASA criticised an advertising feature in The Guardian last September for the XE’s new features, including wi-fi connections and apps that can integrate with a smartphone. The promotion explained that a driver could listen to music, “organise their next meeting and stay in touch with colleagues and family on the move”.
The ASA acknowledged that using a hands-free mobile phone was not illegal but pointed out that according to the Highway Code the use of hands-free kit can be a distraction, and motorists should stop to make or take calls.
“The advertorial featured the headline claim that ‘drive time is no longer downtime’,” the watchdog said in its judgment. “We considered readers would interpret this to mean that drivers could now perform various other tasks while driving.”
Jaguar Land Rover said it had specifically stated that any of the described functions should be used without compromising safety. Its hands-free features reduced the risk of distraction, it added.
Guardian News and Media said it believed the advertorial did not condone or encourage unsafe or irresponsible driving but placed an emphasis on safety. The ASA upheld two complaints.
This article first appeared in The Times