In the UK, one of the BMW commercials was banned from playing on the radio. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agreed with a radio listener who called the engine sound “irresponsible.”
Advertising of BMW M sports cars began with the sound of a running engine, which was interrupted by an announcer with the words:
“We could use loud words like striking, muscular, or exciting to tell you what he looks like. Or we could use a tempting combination of colorful words to describe exactly what it’s like. But all you really want to hear is … ”. Then the engine sounded again, but louder than before.
One of the listeners was very annoyed by the sound of the engine at high revs. The corresponding complaint came to the ASA with a comment about “irresponsibility”. The regulator considered the case and agreed to remove advertisements from radio stations, Express reported.
The ASA has stated that advertisements for vehicles must not display power, acceleration, or handling characteristics. The Advertising Standards FDA also states that ads must not display acceleration time, speed, or other characteristics as a major competitive advantage, or encourage “dangerous, careless or irresponsible driving.”
BMW tried to challenge the decision, explaining that the engine sound for the video was recorded when the car was stationary, therefore it does not provoke dangerous driving. Although the ASA replied that it did not believe that the video directly indicated speed or acceleration, it upheld its decision.