Yahoo has been given a slap on the wrist by the Adverting Standards Authority (ASA), which has condemned the company for encouraging speeding.
The watchdog took a chunk out of the company following complaints by just two people who
who said that the ad for the new BT Yahoo Mail Beta “was likely to cause harm” as it “condoned and encouraged excess speed and irresponsible driving.”
They took offence at the line: “Faster is funner. Introducing the 2x faster New BT Yahoo! Mail. Find out more about BT Yahoo! Mail Beta”.
The advert pictured two females in a convertible sports car, while the passing scenery was blurred. They were not checking their emails.
Of course, Yahoo issued a speedy reply to defend itself, claiming that the ad was not related to motoring. It said that it also did not believe that the advert encouraged speeding or driving irresponsibly.
In order to prevent a penalty it continued to cover its [car] tracks, explaining that the blurred scenery was only used to depict the car was travelling along a mountain path and that
“the car was not travelling over the speed limit”.
Yahoo’s “I didn’t know officer, honest” didn’t quite wash. The ASA ordered it to ensure the advert was banished from ever appearing again in its current form.
The ASA concluded that the headline and the image did portray speed “in a way that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly”. It could also be viewed as a green-light from Yahoo to act in an anti-social fashion and encourage irresponsible driving, but anyone who takes their cue from a Yahoo advert is probably a car-crash of a person anyway.
Just the ticket we say.
Meanwhile, plans for Talk Talk’s “Over the limit!” campaign have never existed.