ASA clobbers Vodafone for texting and driving

We're shocked, shocked

Vodafone's been clobbered - again - by the advertising watchdog following allegations that its saucy ads promote texting while driving.

Last month the giant telco got a ticking off after the ASA (Advertising Watchdog Authority) ruled that an ad featuring a semi-naked couple on the bonnet of a car with the woman straddling the man was "explicit and gratuitous".

The caption read: "Get the flirting over with before you get home. Text. Make your move while you're still on the move".

However, the same ad has been ruled offside again - not because of the steamy embrace but because the ad was deemed potentially "dangerous and irresponsible".

It seems whoever got the hump and complained believed the ad implied that the driver of the car had been texting while driving, and that this encouraged people to do likewise.

Vodafone said this was nonsense, arguing that the ad showed a car parked in a garage. It claimed there was nothing in the ad that suggested that either of the semi-naked individuals had been texting while the car had been moving, and insisted the ad didn't promote texting and driving.

Not so, ruled the ASA, which reckoned that because the ad showed the couple on the car in a garage and used the wording "get the flirting over with before you get home. Text. Make your move while you're still on the move", it suggested that at least one of the people had recently arrived home in the car.

The ASA concluded that the ad could encourage people to text while driving. The ASA told Vodafone not to do it again. ®

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