Renault Megane allowed one ass shake before dinner

LONDON – Bottom-obsessed carmaker Renault can carry on singing about asses without being smutty during its daytime Megane ads, the advertising watchdog has said.

Four viewers complained that the lyric "I see you baby, shaking that ass" should not be heard in daytime versions of the Publicis-created Megane spot, which features men and women gyrating in tribute to the car's bulging rear end.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority did not uphold the complaints and is allowing Renault one mention of the "shaking that ass" lyric, but one only, during versions of the ad shown before 7.30pm.

The ASA referred to a previous ruling from 2003 in which the Independent Television Commission specified that similar Megane ads where the lyric was frequently repeated should not be transmitted before 7.30pm, because the combination of the lyrics with the "wiggling bottoms" pictured had sexual connotations.

The current ad had been cleared by the BACC to be shown before 7.30pm with an ex-kids restriction because it was a version that contained the word "ass" once, at the end of the ad. The BACC had also decided another version of the ad in which the lyric is repeated had to be held back until after 7.30pm.

The ASA decided the BACC's course was correct, arguing that "because the word 'ass' was used only once at the end of the [daytime] ad, it was unlikely to cause harm to children or be emulated by them".

The lyric featured in ad is from the Groove Armada song 'I See You Baby'.

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