Misleading Land Rover Advert Banned

Thu 12th May 2022

Eagle-eyed TV viewers have launched a successful claim against an advertisement for Land Rovers which wrongly suggested that parking sensors could stop you reversing off the edge of a cliff.

The advert, which was broadcast in February showed a Land Rover driving around challenging terrain on an island before carefully reversing towards the edge of a cliff using the vehicles’ parking sensors to guide them.

The Advertising Standards Authority received just the two complaints about the advert, but upheld the complaint as viewers might be misled as to the capabilities of the vehicle. Jaguar Land Rover argued that the parking sensors were actually reacting to a boulder alongside the vehicle, but the ASA said that these ‘small rocks’ were incidental.

“We considered some viewers would therefore interpret that to mean that the car’s parking sensors could recognise when drivers might be reversing near a drop, which might include a smaller hill edge or a drop before water found in ‘on-road’ areas, both in urban and more rural settings,” said the advertising watchdog.

“Because we understood the car’s parking sensors reacted to objects behind the vehicle, rather than to empty space such as a drop, and the rocks were not sufficiently prominent to counter that interpretation, we concluded that the ads misleadingly represented the parking sensor feature.”

The adverts must not be shown again, which is sure to be hefty hit on the the firm’s marketing budget, in response, a JLR spokesperson said: “We are very disappointed with the ASA decision to uphold this complaint in the UK as the vehicle, technology and the scene represented is factual, but we will of course abide by their ruling which was based on only two complaints.”