A Halfords advert has been censored because it encouraged dangerous driving, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.
The advert, which aired in January 2018, featured a sped-up view from the vehicle’s windscreen of a snow-covered road which the watchdog said suggested the vehicle was being driven at high speed around several curves and bends in the road, accompanied with engine sounds.
In a statement, the ASA said: “The ASA understood that the ad showed sped up footage of the vehicle driving and that it was intended to encourage consumers to prepare for driving in the snowy conditions depicted.
“We noted that Halfords said the ad was not demonstrating how a normal person would be driving, but we considered that the type of road was recognisable as a real-life setting and therefore would be realistic to viewers.
“We considered that although no other vehicles or pedestrians were shown in the ad, the vehicle was shown on what appeared to be public roads and driving along several bends and curves on the roads at high speed.
“Because the view of the road was only from the vehicle’s windscreen, which at times included blind bends, we considered that heightened the perception of danger.
“We also noted that engine sounds along with drum beats were heard throughout the ad which reinforced the impression that the vehicle was being driven at high speed.”
The ASA received two complaints claiming the advert encouraged unsafe driving practices in snowy conditions.
On-screen text read: “Ready for quick getaways, we fit batteries from £15.
“Ready for anything, Halfords for life’s journeys.”
In response, Halfords said it believed that the TV ad showed dangerous driving because “the footage had been sped up to such an extent that it was clearly not real and therefore did not show unsafe driving practices”.
The retailer added that the advert encouraged customers to ensure their vehicles were properly prepared for bad driving conditions before undertaking a journey.