After the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) declared Ford’s newest marketing effort could promote dangerous driving, the car maker has been forced to swerve away from its latest advert
Office workers are no stranger to the heightened stresses of everyday life. A September 2018 report highlighted that despite guidelines being introduced by the government in 2015 to produce workplaces that incorporate wellbeing and reduce stress, there’s little evidence of the procedures being followed. It showed almost half of workers in the UK felt as though their jobs produced stress in their lives.
However, Ford’s attempt to capitalise on the daily grind with its latest advert backfired. Seemingly, encouraging drivers to get behind the wheel as a way to vent "everyday frustrations of work life”, Ford has found itself in hot water. Taking exception to the commercial, 12 viewers reported that the vehicle firm’s advert encouraged drivers to employ driving as a method to relieve their anger, which prompted the ASA to step in with a roadblock.
With marketing for the new Ford Mustang based on a Dylan Thomas poem, the ASA deemed that Ford’s advert depicted the car being driven aggressively. The footage appeared alongside the on-screen message: "Do not go gentle into that goodnight. Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light" which the watchdog considered a sufficient reason for it to be banned. The ASA commented: “We therefore considered that the ad[s] suggested that driving was a way of releasing anger, which put the driver, other motorists and pedestrians at risk.”
In its defence, Ford shot back with a response maintaining that with cars being driven at no more than 15 mph, unsafe driving had not been promoted. It added the ad wouldn’t feature in future marketing.
Even though it is apparent that there’s a humorous side to the advert, this serves as a reminder to companies that their marketing cannot be seen to veer dangerously off track.