BMW M760Li xDrive Ad Banned By ASA, Broken CAP Code: "Luxury Just Lost Its Manners"

Apr 27, 2017 04:30 AM EDT | Andrew Davis

The magazine advert of BMW M760 xDrive has been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) in the UK for allegedly breaking the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) code. This was in response to a complaint in an ad that appeared last January where the message was "Luxury just lost its manners," reportedly promoting and condoning driving without reasonable care for other road users.

The ad campaign appeared in Telegraph Magazine last January. And a reader complained that the main message in BMW's ad was the use of speed, boasting the vehicle's 3.7-second 0 to 62 mph and its powerful 6.6-liter twin-turbocharged direct V12 direct injection petrol engine. Also questioned was the automaker's use of the ad's strapline, condoning irresponsible driving.

On one hand, Telegraph Magazine defended BMW's ad for the BMW M760 xDrive and pointed out that the vehicle's acceleration stated in the ad didn't exceed the national speed limit on motorways. Plus, "Luxury just lost its manners" was just "advertising puffery." In other words, it was a subjective term, thus could not be linked to the alleged "irresponsible driving."

Further, BMW also defended the line "for some, the climb to the top is quicker." The automaker noted that this line reflects their audience's success in their careers, as opposed to the vehicle's top speed.

Regardless, the ASA disagreed and the ad was banned. BMW was "upheld on the basis that the performance stats would mean the headline message would be interpreted to mean the BMW was notable for its powerful engine and high performance."

The ASA informed BMW to "ensure" that the automaker doesn't make speed, or acceleration for that matter, the focus of their future marketing campaigns. And that the ad must not appear in its current form.

And this wasn't the first time BMW was in trouble with the ASA for its ads. In 2014, the ASA reprimanded BMW for encouraging speed in a promoted tweet for the automaker's M235i model.

Also, 2 years later, the German automaker was again slammed for its claims that its high-beam assist technology meant "oncoming traffic is never dazzled" in a radio advert for its 1 Series model. This was something that a radio listener disputed because they felt tech didn't react quickly enough to prevent other drivers being dazzled.

A spokesperson from BMW then explained that the ad for the BMW M760 xDrive was only a one-off appearance. And they had no plans of using it again in an effort to ensure that their campaigns are in compliant with rules and standards. 

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