Land Rover ad banned for ‘misleading’ scene after complaints


Two Land Rover TV adverts have been pulled after a ‘misleading’ parking scene saw the SUV teeter on the edge of a cliff.

The clip was meant to promote the brand’s new Defender model, showing several Land Rovers driving through difficult terrain on an island.

It ended with a close-up of one of the cars reversing to the edge of a cliff, using the vehicle’s parking sensor to guide them.

The parking sensor system displayed “on-road” mode when the Defender backed up to the edge, where a red line mapped the shape of a boulder into the camera.

The two yellow lines indicated the distance between the car and the “obstacle”.

The advert showed a Defender SUV reversing towards the edge of a cliff using its parking sensors as a guide

The ban came as two viewers complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and disputed whether the parking sensor would warn of an empty space.

Jaguar Land Rover responded to ASA’s inquiry and agreed that the parking sensors would not warn of empty space behind the vehicle.

But they believed the side shots in the ad clearly showed the car backing into a rock, which was large enough to have been picked up by the parking sensors.

The sensors detected a rock at the end of a cliff and marked it in red while indicating the distance between the car and the edge in yellow
The sensors detected a rock at the end of a cliff and marked it in red while indicating the distance between the car and the edge in yellow

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The company also said rocks were shown behind the vehicle and the technology alerted the driver to them.

However, ASA rejected their explanation and ruled that the ad violated “misleading advertising” and “automotive” regulations.

They wrote in the ruling: “Although a few small rocks were visible when the vehicle was backed up, they appeared to be incidental to the scene and we considered it unclear whether the parking sensor was responding to rocks rather than at the edge of the cliff.

Advertising watchdog found Land Rover ad 'misleading'
Advertising watchdog found Land Rover ad ‘misleading’

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“We considered that some viewers would therefore interpret this to mean that the car’s parking sensors could recognize when drivers might be reversing near a drop, which could include a smaller hill edge or drop before water is only found in “on-road” areas, both in urban and more rural settings.

“Because we understood that the car’s parking sensors reacted to objects behind the vehicle, rather than an empty space such as a drop, and the rocks were not prominent enough to counter this interpretation, we concluded that the advertisements misrepresented the parking sensor feature.”


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