Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/18/t_mobile_asa/

T-Mobile walloped for 'dangerous driving' ad

Road warriors beware

By Tim Richardson

Posted in Mobile, 18th January 2006 10:52 GMT

T-Mobile UK has pulled an ad aimed at business users who want to stay connected on the move because it "condoned dangerous driving".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 13 complaints from people concerned that the ad - which featured a woman driving a car with her glove box crammed full of office equipment - was "irresponsible".

Alongside the image of the woman at the wheel of a car, the accompanying blurb said: "Work where you work best. Business data solutions from T-Mobile puts your business wherever you are. BlackBerry, mobile broadband access and HotSpots mean the internet and email are always with you."

Defending the ad, T-Mobile argued that the image did not show any of the mobile gizmos being used while driving. Nor did the ad suggest that the products should be used while driving, it said.

But the ad watchdog didn't buy it, taking the line that motorists could be prosecuted if they didn't have proper control of their vehicle while driving.

"We considered that, because the woman could be seen to be driving with only one hand on the steering wheel, consumers could infer that she was engaged in another activity while driving," the ASA said. "We considered that, because motorists could be prosecuted for failing to have proper control when using a hands-free phone, the image of the woman was irresponsible and was likely to be seen to encourage dangerous practice."

T-Mobile will not be appealing the ASA's ruling. ®