It is official. The world has gone completely mad. Or at least the ASA has.
Citroen produced an advert for its "green" C4 featuring a large herd of cyclists following a C4 - supposedly able to breathe more easily because of its "stop-start" technology.
All fairly anodyne stuff really. The only complaint I would have is that any car being sold on "green" credentials is possibly stetching things a little bit.
But, after one complaint, the ASA has ruled against the advert saying
“we considered that younger children might not appreciate the fantastical nature of the ad and might consider that the ad represented a real-life scenario. We were therefore concerned that the ad might encourage younger children to emulate a behaviour prejudicial to their health and safety, and therefore concluded that the ad should have been given an 'ex kids' scheduling restriction to ensure that it was not broadcast at times when younger children were likely to be watching.”
The key issue that would corrupt our nations young minds was that the cyclists were not wearing helmets.
Frankly I think anyone watching the advert, no matter how young, would get the fantastical nature of the advert. A young person would actually have to be cycling on a UK road before being able to emulate, and in the years of cycling I have never seen anyone under the age of 10 on the roads around me (and then only a couple of school kids braving the A10). The fantastical nature of the adverts is that there are that many cyclists on the roads without having some idiot trying to barge their way through to make it ten seconds earlier to the lights. The last time I was in such a large group was the London Bikeathon where a black cab driver expressed his opinion of having a few dozen cyclists in front of him by leaning on the horn repeatedly until he turned off the road.
When I look at cycling, I sometimes feel that either someone is playing a massive April Fools joke on me, or the establishment has been replaced in the night by raving lunatics.