The reason this Audi R8 ad was banned? One person complained

<B>IRRESPONSIBLE AD?</B> One viewer complained that the an Audi R8 advert promotes irresponsible driving behaviour. <I>Image: YouTube</I>
<B>IRRESPONSIBLE AD?</B> One viewer complained that the an Audi R8 advert promotes irresponsible driving behaviour. <I>Image: YouTube</I>

UPDATE: Many Wheels24 readers have expressed their views regarding the advert. Click here to view reader responses.

Cape Town - New design, crazy CGI visuals, happy couple/family enjoying a drive - car advertisements are for the most part formulaic and one of the best ways to entice buyers is depicting speed on screen.

Audi has gone the esoteric route in an advert depicting the R8 supercar; a driver's eyeball reacting to the 449kW car speeding away. The German automaker has come under fire for its latest supercar-promoting video.

The clip, first aired in April 2016, shows a driver’s eyeball dilating as the R8 accelerates. The ad is apparently in breach of the European Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regulations. The reason? "Irresponsible depiction of speed," reports the ASA.

The advert

In the video, the R8 pulls away and builds up speed while the the driver’s 'eye' reacts to the power of the R8’s ten-cylinder engine. A single viewer informed ASA of Audi’s advert and the organisation reacted by pulling the video off air.

The ASA said: "The complainant, who believed the ad linked speed with excitement, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible.

"The ad shows an irresponsible depiction if speed - connecting it with excitement, and is therefore unacceptable."

WATCH: Hit and run - Reckless R8 driver smashes into car, drives away!

The ASA continued: "The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Volkswagen Group UK Ltd to ensure that future ads did not demonstrate power, acceleration or handling characteristics except in a clear context of safety and without the suggestion of excitement."

Do you think Audi's latest R8 ad (seen below) is a "irresponsible depiction if speed"? Let us know via emailFacebook and Twitter. 

Audi responds

Audi said: "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."

According to the ASA: "Audi said they disagreed that the ad linked speed with excitement or that it was irresponsible. They said the ad was not about speed and was carefully shot (with cars travelling at speeds of less than 48km/h) and edited to avoid giving any impression of speed. Consequently, if the ad had shown excitement, it would not be linked with speed.

"However, Audi said the ad did not show excitement, as the dilating and contracting pupil denoted concentration and focus, which was a documented scientific phenomenon. They said the pupil was shown dilating with braking and a downward change of gear, as well as with acceleration (which they noted happened at low speeds) and upward changes of gear, reflecting increased concentration and focus at those points."

ASA in turn responded: "While we acknowledged that the scenes in which the car was visible did not show it being driven fast, we considered that the presentation of the ad gave an implication of speed and acceleration."

Read ASA's full report here.

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