EC officials poised to thwart UK car ad rules extension

An attempt to extend Britain’s rules on car advertising across Europe could be hampered by EC officials who believe they are already being flouted.

An attempt to extend Britain’s rules on car advertising across

Europe could be hampered by EC officials who believe they are already

being flouted.



They claim UK carmakers and their agencies are making a mockery of their

own self-regulatory system by running ads which should have been

outlawed on safety grounds.



Now Advertising Association executives, along with representatives of

the Advertising Standards Authority and the Independent Television

Commission, will meet EC and UK Government officials next month to

thrash out which rules a Europe-wide car advertising code should

contain.



The AA is worried that if the British rules, which are well observed,

are not used as a template, the result will be a set of regulations

which, in trying to satisfy all EC member states, will turn out to be

unrealistic and ineffective.



Lionel Stanbrook, the deputy director-general, of the AA, said: ’No car

advertising code will be any good if its administered by a toothless

self-regulatory body.’



Action on car advertising is part of a UK Government plan to improve

road safety in Europe when it assumes the EU presidency this year.



The ASA received 60 complaints about 26 car ads last year and ordered

nine to be withdrawn. But Caroline Crawford, its communications

director, claimed they were not causing concern.



’We’ve no reason to believe the increase in complaints is more than a

blip,’ she said.



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