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Jaguar ad 'promotes unsafe driving'

Press Association logoPress Association 8/03/2017 Josie Clarke

An "irresponsible" ad for the new Jaguar XE car's hands-free mobile technology has been banned for encouraging unsafe driving.

The advertorial for Jaguar Land Rover, which appeared in The Guardian, described new in-car features such as wi-fi connectivity and smartphone-integrated apps, allowing the driver to "organise your next meeting and stay in touch with colleagues and family on the move".

It said: "For busy executives, the car is increasingly becoming an extension of the work place. What was once a cocoon of time in limbo is being transformed into productive reclaimed time."

Defending the ad, Jaguar Land Rover said it had specifically stated that any of the described functions of the car should be used without compromising safety.

Guardian News and Media said the advertorial did not condone or encourage unsafe or irresponsible driving but instead placed an emphasis on safety.

Upholding two complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it accepted that driving while using a hands-free mobile phone kit was not illegal.

However, it noted that using hands-free equipment was likely to distract drivers and advised stopping to make or take calls, while satellite navigation systems, congestion warning systems, PCs and multi-media could also be dangerous.

"Therefore, we concluded that the advertorial was irresponsible because it was likely to encourage unsafe driving practices."

It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form and told Jaguar Land Rover that their future advertising must not encourage drivers to carry out such tasks that were likely to distract their attention from the road.

The ASA's ruling comes a week after tougher penalties for motorists using phones came into force.

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