Land Rover Advert Divides Opinion

Wed 1st Dec 2021

A Land Rover advert which has showcased the vehicle’s offroad capabilities has been criticised by environmental campaigners, but has been given the green light by the UK’s advertising watchdog.

The advert, which depicted a Land Rover Defender driving through a forest, had the headline ‘LIfe is so much better without restrictions’ and hinted that owners could ‘go anywhere and do anything’. Unsurprisingly the promotion incurred the wrath of green campaigners who claimed that the ad was encouraging and condoning behaviour that could destroy ecologically sensitive environments.

In their assessment, the Advertising Standards Association turned down claims of bias and in their ruling said: “The overall impression of the ad suggested that the vehicle could be driven without any restrictions, including in ecologically sensitive and off-road environments such as forests, wherein doing so it would be likely to cause damage to vulnerable habitats and vegetation.

“We considered that the ad encouraged and condoned the use of a vehicle in a way that was detrimental to ecologically sensitive environments and was therefore socially irresponsible.”

But the ASA’s independent jury also said that it was not “clear that the vehicle was definitely driving off-road, illegally or irresponsibly.”

Speaking about the ruling Robbie Gillett, from the Adfree Cities campaign said: “The ASA council has made an overly narrow assessment of this Land Rover advert and failed to see it in a wider picture of a worsening climate crisis, rising urban ownership of SUVs and lethal increases in air pollution.”