The Government is under pressure to stop ’irresponsible’ car
advertising after being warned by MPs that it is having a detrimental
effect on young drivers.
The Labour-dominated Select Committee on the Environment, Transport and
the Regions said in a report: ’Too many advertisements feature images of
cars being driven at high speeds on deserted roads, and too much of the
copy which accompanies such images emphasises only the top speed and the
acceleration of the cars.’ It warned that advertising was undermining
efforts to change the attitudes of young drivers.
The report follows earlier warnings from the Independent Television
Commission about how misjudged ads - including the Sweeney-style spoof
for the Nissan Almera - undermined its guidelines.
The MPs recommended that the Government hold talks with advertisers and
motor manufacturers ’to ensure that irresponsible advertising of cars is
ended, and that advertisers seek to promote safe driving’.
In a report on young and newly qualified drivers, the MPs conceded that
TV programmes, films, computer games and peer pressure also influenced
But they concluded that advertising would have a much more direct impact
’because it focuses on the reasons someone might want a particular car
and because it is likely to be seen as an endorsement of those attitudes
by the car’s manufacturers’.