New Audi R8 ad banned by the ASA

Advertising Standards Authority claimed that the Audi R8 advert linked speed with excitement, going against motoring commercial regulations

A new advert for the Audi R8 has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority. The ad, which depicted an eyeball contracting and dilating as the supercar accelerated through its gears, was pulled after the authority declared it breached regulations. The decision was made after just a single viewer complained that the advert was ‘irresponsible’.

Car Advertising Campaign of the Year - New Car Awards 2016

Created by advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the ad begins with a close-up shot of an iris reflecting the lights of a tunnel. It contracts and dilates to a soundtrack of the R8’s naturally aspirated V10 roar. At the top of the rev range, it’s replaced by soft piano music and a shot of the car slowly turning a corner. The end of the ad shows the car braking to a halt, accompanied by the words ‘More focus. More drive’ as well as ‘The all-new Audi R8 V10 plus with carbon ceramic brakes’.

The ASA says that the ad shows an irresponsible depiction of speed – connecting it with excitement, and is therefore unacceptable and in breach of the code regulating motoring ads.

Audi’s parent brand, the Volkswagen Group, disputed the claims. It said that the ad does not feature excessive speed as a message, and that the ad was shot at speeds below 30mph – with the movement of the eye signifying concentration and focus rather than excitement.

Best car ads of the Superbowl 2016

Audi said in response that ‘The ad was particularly intended to highlight the car’s carbon ceramic brakes, the new, naturally aspirated engine, and the 7-speed S-Tronic gearbox.’ It also claimed that the CGI eyeball was clearly fantasy as no eye would work in such a way.

The ASA quashed Audi’s appeal, though. It said ‘We considered that viewers would interpret the changes in pupil size as an emotional response to the movement of the car, as represented by the sounds that were audible during the eye sequence.’

Audi’s advert joins several other car commercials banned for similar reasons, including four from Jaguar and Honda’s ‘Keep Up’ ad, which was pulled after just two complaints.

See below for some of our favourite Audi ads that didn’t get pulled from the air in the UK…

Audi R8 Super Bowl - 'Commander'

Audi RS3 - 'Birth'

'The new Audi R8 V10 Plus'

Recommended

Audi R8 review
Audi R8 - front tracking
Audi R8

Audi R8 review

The Audi R8 is a true supercar that's devastatingly fast, yet it's as easy to drive as a TT
1 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review
Volkswagen ID.4 GTX
Volkswagen ID.4 SUV

New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review

VW ID.4 EV gets another electric motor and four-wheel drive in hot GTX form
21 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen Caddy California 2021 review
Volkswagen Caddy California MPV - front
Volkswagen Caddy

New Volkswagen Caddy California 2021 review

It’s a family hauler and weekend camper all rolled into one, but is the Volkswagen Caddy California any good?
21 Jun 2021
New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review
Mercedes C-Class - front
Mercedes C-Class

New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review

The new Mercedes C-Class compact exec gets S-Class-inspired tech and new suspension to challenge the BMW 3 Series
21 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e
Fiat 500 vs Honda e vs MINI Electric
Car group tests

Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e

The new Fiat 500, MINI Electric and Honda e are three retro-inspired electric superminis - but which is best?
19 Jun 2021
New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space
Peugeot 308 SW - front
News

New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space

The Peugeot 308 SW joins the hatchback in the range and arrives with two plug-in hybrid options
22 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech
Dacia Duster facelift - front
Dacia Duster

New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech

The budget-conscious Dacia Duster has been updated for 2021 with some subtle design tweaks and a new eight-inch infotainment screen
22 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’
opinion: charging
Opinion

‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’

Andy Palmer sees electric car uptake revving-up in the UK but says targeted investment is needed to prevent a stall…
22 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
'A top footballer works minutes for his car, but the average worker must graft for 12 months'
Opinion - average car
Opinion

'A top footballer works minutes for his car, but the average worker must graft for 12 months'

Mike Rutherford says it's increasingly easy for them, and far harder for us, to earn enough for our new cars
20 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021