Motor vehicle advertising: determination summary

This determination summary applies to advertisements for motor vehicles as defined in the FCAI Code. Advertisements for a product other than a motor vehicle, but which depicts motor vehicles will be considered under the AANA Code of Ethics.

The Community Panel’s recent approach in assessing complaints under particular parts of the FCAI Code has been as follows.

2 (a) Unsafe driving
  • Travelling at speeds too fast for the roads being driven on will breach this section as unsafe driving.
  • Purposely driving to create smoke and loss of traction is a breach of the road rules and of section 2 (a)
  • Leaving the road to overtake another vehicle demonstrates driving that would breach the road rules and is a breach of this Section of the Code.
    • Volkswagen Group Australia – 0457/18
  • Vehicles making sharp turns to portray the ability of the car to handle loose or unsealed surfaces in a safe manner will most likely not breach the Code.
  • Vehicles driving behind each other at a safe distance will not be seen as tailgating and therefore will not be considered to be driving unsafely.
    • Mitsubishi Motors Australia – 0140/19
  • Advertisements showing content which would be seen as fantasy or unlikely to happen in real life will not breach section 2 (a).
    • General Motors Holden Australia – 0296/19
    • Lexus Australia – 0204/19
2 (b) Driving in excess of speed limits
  • Motor vehicle speed is sometime unclear to judge, but if the driving appears to be controlled and within speed limits the complaints will be dismissed.
  • If a motor vehicle appears to be out of control as a result of the speed it is travelling, the content may breach the Code.
    • Fiat Chrysler Australia – 0108/19
2 (c) Driving practices or other actions in breach of any law

Various driving practices have been looked at under this section, the Community Panel’s view is:

  • A person sitting in a vehicle that is situated on the trailer of a truck is a breach of the road rules and a breach of this Section of the Code.
    • Hyundai Motor Company – 0148/18
  • The use of daytime running lights is consistent with road rules.
  • Driving in a controlled environment is okay where there is no risk to other vehicles.
  • It’s okay for animals to be sitting in the tray of a ute if the vehicle is stationary or in the body of the car so long as they are restrained as required by law.
  • Advertisements showing the driver of a vehicle doing a miscellaneous task (i.e applying lipstick, drinking a coffee) whilst the vehicle is stationary will not breach the code as long as the driver is portrayed to have control over the vehicle.
  • Advertisements which do not breach the legal road rules of the state/territory the content was filmed and/or shown in will most likely not breach the Code.
  • Advertisements featuring body parts out the windows of vehicles will breach the law and this Section of the Code
2 (d) Driving while being fatigued, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Advertising should not show people driving with appearing fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • Advertisements showing a driver yawning whilst the vehicle is in motion will most likely not breach the Code.
    • Volvo Car Australia – 0291/19
2 (e) Deliberate and significant environmental damage
  • Vehicles shown driving across different terrains are allowed as long as they are not shown to be significantly harming the environment.
3 Motorsport
  • Including a driver in professional racing attire, and highlighting that it was filmed under a closed track will not breach this clause.
4 Depiction of off-road vehicles 

Advertisements for off-road vehicles should not portray unsafe driving. There are no recent examples.

  • It is acceptable for advertisers to depict the capabilities of an off-road vehicle so long as the depictions do not show unsafe driving practices.
    • Suzuki Australia Pty Ltd – 0040/19