Peters & Peters

ASA finds that Toyota’s adverts promoted irresponsible behaviour towards nature and the environment


Key facts:

The ASA upheld a complaint by the pressure group Adfree Cities about a paid for Facebook post and a poster advert created by Toyota. These adverts showed Toyota’s cars in natural, remote and off-road landscapes with the tagline “BORN TO ROAM”. Adfree Cities complained that the adverts – which showed vehicles driving off-road and without restriction – were irresponsible.

Toyota argued that their vehicles were designed for tough environments and off-road locations, such as the terrains depicted in the adverts. It argued that no reasonable viewer would have understood its adverts as encouraging UK consumers to drive irresponsibly in the UK countryside or to cause environmental harm.

The ASA found that the complaint was justified. While the ASA acknowledged that Toyota was partly targeting specialised vehicle users, the impression given by the adverts was “one of driving regardless of its purpose, across off-road environments and natural ecosystems” with no regard for the impact of such driving on nature and the environment. As a result, the adverts had not been prepared with a sense of responsibility to society.

The ASA held that the adverts breached the CAP Code. It told Toyota that the adverts must not appear again in the same form, and that future marketing should not contain any material that was likely to encourage irresponsible behaviour towards the environment.


ASA ruling

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