It seems that in the UK, you are allowed to build and sell a car that goes fast, but you are not allowed to advertise the fact that it goes fast.
In news that is sure to see Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson turn purple with rage, the Advertising Standards Authority has banned four Jaguar ads – giving the reasons that the ads glorify high speeds and encourage dangerous driving.
The four video adverts on Jaguar’s website showed a car driving at speed through a tunnel and crossing over the single white lines in the middle of a road, before driving across a mountain road at night.
Another scene showed a car driving on open land at high speed, while voice-overs said: “The adaptive dynamics technology reacts 20 times faster than the human eye. It delivers a smooth drive by continuously analysing speed, steering and body movement of the car 500 times a second, giving every journey an instinctive, stable and agile ride.”
The ads ended with the Jaguar logo alongside text reading: “Jaguar. How alive are you?” to the sound of an engine revving.
One viewer complained to the ASA that the ads were irresponsible because they “glorified speed and encouraged dangerous driving”.
Jaguar claimed that the ads were shot in Switzerland on closed sections of road on the Susten Pass and the Grimsel Pass, but caption to show that information was mistakenly omitted.
Jaguar also said that the ads emphasised the technical features and abilities of the cars and at no time demonstrated any dangerous driving.
But the ASA disagreed. In banning the ads, it said the overall impression was a focus on the speed and acceleration of the cars, emphasised by the sound of revving engines, high-tempo music and the use of blurred lines.
It said that the cars were driving on what appeared to be public roads and in a manner that would be irresponsible and illegal on the UK’s public roads.
At the other end of the speed scale, the South Wales Argus reports that a tractor has been seized by police after it was seen being driven slowly along the M6 motorway.
Police said that the tractor – red in colour – was spotted travelling at “low speed” on the southbound carriageway of the M6 near Birmingham.
Police would not confirm whether or not the tractor was being driven by James May.