An advert for the Toyota GT86 has been banned in the UK after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) judged that it glamorises reckless driving.
The Toyota 'Real Deal' ad - which was released on YouTube and shown in UK cinemas - features a virtual male who discovers 'feeling' after he hops into the driving seat of the GT86.
His sudden discovery sees him shoot off at speed through his videogame-like world, chased by a police helicopter as he follows signs to "the end of the world". There he smashes through a glass barrier onto a real road.
The ASA investigated Toyota's ad after receiving two complaints from viewers who think the ad irresponsible. It subsequently ruled in favour of the distressed duo and pulled the plug on the promotional film,
The ASA said that while it recognises Toyota's claims that the ad was set in an animated, futuristic world and that it had no intention of reflecting normal driving circumstances, nonetheless the "roads, public spaces and car featured were recognisable as such and were not significantly different from those in the real world".
More to the point, "the highly stylised nature of the ad glamorised the reckless manner in which the car was driven", it said.
It concludes that the ad was "irresponsible and condoned dangerous driving" and thus "must not appear again in its current form".
At the time of writing, the company had yet to remove the advert from the official Toyota YouTube channel. ®