British Watchdog Bans VW City Car Ad For Encouraging ‘Irresponsible Driving’

In the beginning of the year, Volkswagen launched a commercial with the new-gen Polo, highlighting some of its driving assistance systems.

However, the TV advert haas been banned in the United Kingdom by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for “encouraging irresponsible driving”, and thus being “in breach of Code rules 20.1 and 20.5”.

The first rule states that “advertisements must not condone or encourage dangerous, competitive, inconsiderate or irresponsible driving or motorcycling. Advertisements must not suggest that driving or motorcycling safely is staid or boring.”

The second alleged violation rule refers to “motoring advertisements” that “must not exaggerate the benefit of safety features to consumers or suggest that a vehicle’s features enable it to be driven or ridden faster or in complete safety”.

Also Read: Audi R8 Ad Banned In UK After Viewer Complained To ASA

In response to having their ad banned by the ASA, Volkswagen issued a statement, explaining that “the car was not shown to be driven dangerously and there was nothing that condoned or encouraged dangerous, competitive, inconsiderate or irresponsible driving”. The German automaker added that “the purpose of the ad was to promote safe and responsible driving, and to highlight how the car’s Advanced Safety Systems could help drivers to manage certain hazards in safety”.

The Volkswagen Polo depicted in the banned commercial depicts a young driver, accompanied by his father, facing some hazards on the road, subsequently to showing him at various stages of his life, having accidents on bikes and other small vehicles.

In the subcompact hatchback, though, he manages to overcome all dangers thanks to the on-board driving assistance equipment, such as the Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring and optional Blind Spot Monitor.


  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    Honestly, they won’t let you fart these days without putting a safety warning on it.
    That was tame AF.

  • wait a minute

    banning a product with safety features because it’s dangerous, irresponsible and inconsiderate, where’s the logic. Advertising supposed to be edgy, witty, controversial in order to attract and hold attention for a nano second. Does ASA really think this ad could encourage copy cat dangerous driving.

  • Victor Ferreira

    Soon enough waking up will be banned in the UK – there’s a risk you might have fun if you do so.

  • Cord

    I fail to see how this is encouraging dangerous driving????

  • Wait hold-up, what exactly is wrong with this ad? coz what i’m reading surely can’t be it. Those six people just irk me nje

    • OdysseyTag

      Lols yah neh, mxm 🤣

  • Philip George

    The advert is very informative. VW cars and all Volkswagen Group cars are the natural cars for people who have been irresponsible road users all their lives. It’s no wonder VW, Audi, Porsche drivers are rated as some of the daftest and worst drivers on the planet.

    • TheHake

      Bwahahaha. Who did the rating? BMW drivers? Volvo drivers?

  • DMax

    Western Europe is slowly but surely turning into some parody of USSR. How ironic. Sad!

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      At least in Russia it’s now no-holds barred, free-for-all, just f”&*ing go for it madness.

  • S3XY

    I tuned it out

    • TheHake

      Why are you here? There’s no tesla mentioned. And yes, I spelled tesla with a small t.

  • Joff

    Probably anti-Semitic 😉

    • LeStori

      Leave the Maltese out of it…

    • TheHake

      And racist.

  • LeStori

    In this case they are probably right. The whole ad is about lack of Parental control. The “joke” punch line is the car not running down a pedestrian due to irresponsible driving. The argument being it does not matter how you drive, your Polo will stop you getting into legal hot water.

    • TheHake

      Really? You should go sit on that board.

    • Ch!mp

      the add shows a young person growing up and underestimating risks (with negative consequences for themselves, usually). However, when you get into a car, everbody should realise that one’s faults/’mistakes’ at the wheel can lead to other people being involved (worst case: dying) as a result of you underestimating the risks (not paying attention, in this case). Thus, I completely agree with you.

  • TheBelltower

    VW probably got more views from the coverage about it getting banned.

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