The UK only has a few channels, and most of them don’t run ads. So it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that its advertising watchdogs have considerably more power than the advertisers. As was proven this week when it banned an ad that featured a car moving at “no more than 15 mph” for promoting unsafe driving.
The ad (above) features a bunch appropriately depressed Brits being weighed down by the modern world and all of its small assaults on our dignity or whatever. Then, as Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night is read, a Mustang awakens and reminds you that there’s still fun and color to be had out of life (or something).
The car starts, drives through a parking garage, and out onto the street, which apparently was too much for the Advertising Standards Authority who claimed that it promoted unsafe driving.
Ford and England’s Cinema Advertising Association appealed the decision, pointing out that the Mustang never exceeds 15 mph, but the ASA was unmoved and the ad can’t be shown in England. Turns out they’d prefer it if you did go quietly into that good night.