Nissan escapes ad ban over 'swearing' in Note campaign

Nissan: TV ad features track by Franz Ferdinand
Nissan: TV ad features track by Franz Ferdinand

Nissan has escaped punishment by the ad watchdog, after viewers complained about the apparent use of swearing in its recent TV ad.

The campaign for Nissan’s Note model, by TBWA, shows a couple driving through a tunnel and being approached by supernatural creatures. The ad is set to the backing track of ‘Evil Eye’ by Franz Ferdinand.

Two viewers complained that the ad was unsuitable for children to see due to the "frightening content" and the song’s lyrics, which include, "What’s the colour of the next car. It’s red you bastard, yeah red you bastard. Don’t believe in God, but believe in this shit."

One of the complainants argued the lyric would also be offensive to viewers who did believe in God.

Nissan said they had commissioned a "clean" version of the track, with the swear words replaced with "basket" and "schtick", and added that the lyrics of the song were "barely discernible".

The manufacturer argued there was nothing in the content of the ad to "suggest or imply anything irreligious", and that it was a "light-hearted" depiction of a modern-day ghost train which would not scare the average child viewer.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled in favour of Nissan, stating it was "unlikely that the viewers and particularly children would believe they had heard swear words and be offended".

It added that the lyric referring to God was unlikely to cause "serious or widespread offence", as the lyric was given no prominence.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message