Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 104

. 9. FCAI Voluntary Code of Practice for Motor Vehicle Advertising Explanatory Notes Guidance to Advertisers Context The FCAI supports a responsible approach to advertising for motor vehicles. FCAI asks advertisers to be mindful of the importance of road safety and to ensure that advertising for motor vehicles does not contradict road safety messages or undermine efforts to achieve improved road safety outcomes in Australia. The Voluntary Code of Practice for Motor Vehicle Advertising (the Code) has been instituted by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) as a means of industry self‑regulation of motor vehicle advertising in Australia. The primary purpose of the Code is to provide guidance to advertisers in relation to appropriate standards for the portrayal of images, themes and messages relating to road safety. Vehicle occupant protection and road safety are primary concerns for the automotive industry in the design and operation of all motor vehicles supplied to the Australian market. FCAI endorses the National Road Safety Strategy and acknowledges the importance of increased road safety awareness in the Australian community and fully supports the efforts of all relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory authorities to secure this outcome. Date of Commencement This revised version of the Code is to be applied to all advertisements for motor vehicles published or broadcast in Australia from 1 July 2004. Scope and Coverage of the Code The Code is to be applied to all forms and mediums for advertising of motor vehicles in Australia. This includes television, radio, print media, cinema, billboards and Australian domain internet websites. Advertisers should ensure that advertisements do not depict, encourage or condone dangerous, illegal, aggressive or reckless driving. Moreover, advertisers need to be mindful that excessive speed is a major cause of death and injury in road crashes and accordingly should avoid explicitly or implicitly drawing attention to the acceleration or speed capabilities of a vehicle. FCAI acknowledges that advertisers may make legitimate use of fantasy, humour and self-evident exaggeration in creative ways in advertising for motor vehicles. However, such devices should not be used in any way to contradict, circumvent or undermine the provisions of the Code. In particular, it is noted that use of disclaimers indicating that a particular scene or advertisement was produced under controlled conditions; using expert drivers; that viewers should not attempt to emulate the driving depicted; or expressed in other similar terms, should be avoided. Such disclaimers cannot in any way be used to justify the inclusion of material which otherwise does not comply with the provisions of the Code. Advertisers should avoid references to the speed or acceleration capabilities of a motor vehicle (for example, “0–100 km/h in 6.5 seconds”). Other factual references to the capabilities of the motor vehicle (for example, cylinder capacity, kilowatt power of the engine, or maximum torque 102 generated) are acceptable, provided that they are presented in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of the Code. The Code contains a specific clause (clause 3) relating to the use of motor sport, simulated motor sport and similar vehicle testing or proving activities in advertising. It is acknowledged that motor sport plays a crucial role in brand promotion and the development and testing of crucial technologies, many of which result in safer vehicles. Accordingly the Code seeks to ensure that advertisers can continue to legitimately make use of motor sport in advertising, provided that care is taken to ensure that depictions of speed, racing and other forms of competitive driving are clearly identified as taking place in this context. FCAI urges also advertisers to avoid any suggestion that depictions of such vehicles participating in motor sport, or undertaking other forms of competitive driving are in any way associated with normal onroad use of motor vehicles. In addition, it is noted that the Code contains a clause (clause 4) relating to the depiction of off-road vehicles which have been designed with special features for off road operation. This clause provides some limited flexibility allowing advertisers to legitimately demonstrate the capabilities and performance of such vehicles in an off-road context. In so doing however, care should be taken to ensure that all other provisions and the underlying objectives of the Code are still adhered to. In particular, advertisers should be mindful to ensure that advertisements for such vehicles do not involve the depiction of ‘excessive’ or ‘unsafe’ speed. Equally, advertisers should avoid portrayal of images of off‑road driving which could otherwise be construed as being unsafe. Advertising Standards Bureau