Audi supercar commercial too exciting for British TV

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A commercial for the Audi R8 supercar has been banned from UK television – because it’s too exciting. The commercial doesn’t show much of the car itself. It concentrates mainly on the eye of the driver as the car accelerates through a tunnel. The pupil dilates and contracts as the R8 powers through corners, the tunnel lights being reflected in the eye.

It’s been banned from UK television because the country’s Advertising Standards Authority ruled the commercial linked speed with excitement. Under ASA rules motoring adverts are prevented from referencing a vehicle’s speed in the context of excitement, aggression or competitiveness.

Volkswagen owns the Audi brand and argued the pupil dilation is a natural scientific phenomenon, indicative of concentration and focus.

But the ASA disagreed, saying in its assessment: “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.”

Volkswagen has decided not to take the matter further. The commercial will not be shown on British TV.


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