Suzuki 'dodgems' ad evades ban despite 35 complaints over bad driving

An ad that depicted Suzuki cars as fairground dodgems has avoided a ban from the ad watchdog despite attracting 35 complaints that it encouraged irresponsible driving.

Created by Red Brick Road and first aired in January, the ad was shot in a fairground. The creative idea was that no matter how many times a driver gets behind the wheel of a Suzuki, the sense of fun and elation does not fade, much like the funfair experience.

However, 35 people complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, accusing Suzuki of encouraging dangerous driving. 

Suzuki defended the spot as "a surreal and fantastical ad which took place in a dreamlike world" and said it did not believe the ads showed a real-life situation that condoned or encouraged irresponsible attitudes to driving. 

Clearcast, the broadcast ad clearance body, said it had advised Suzuki to include "good driving practice and regard for safety measures" alongside the surreal context, so seatbelts were worn throughout the ad and a baby was shown in an appropriate car seat. 

The ASA agreed that viewers would not take the ad "literally". It concluded that several touches made for the "fantastical context of a dodgems ride" and did not uphold the complaints. 

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