6 banned car commercials: From VW to Renault

Every business that sells a product no matter how big or small, needs a good marketing strategy to increase its sales. The same is with the manufacturers of automobiles. Over the years, we have seen a number of commercials from carmakers across the globe. Some were pretty funny, some serious, and some also divided the opinions of viewers into two extremes. Once in while there have also been some commercials that were too extreme to show on television. So if you wish to know some of the commercials over the years have been banned, here is the list.

Renault Clio – Va va voom ads

This ad for the Renault Clio showed a ‘Va va voom’ button. Press it, and the street scene around the car changes into one of Paris, with its cafes, baguette sellers and even some dancers. Apparently, one person found it offensive, complaint and it was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in UK. Another version of the ad made by the car maker featured topless male models, but this was not banned. First, the banned one.

And here is the other one, featuring male models. This one was not banned.

Volkswagen Australia – ‘Too powerful for TV’ Ad

The first commercial to get banned from the television in this list is a TVC from Volkswagen Australia’s recent “Too strong for TV” ad campaign featuring its new Amarok V6 pickup truck. According to reports the ad was pulled off the television after being considered unsafe by the authority responsible for handling advertising complaints, Ad Standards.

The brilliantly creative piece of content for the TV and internet advertisement showed models and graphics to simulate several images of the Amarok passing other cars. This was done to avoid offending the famously sensitive Ad Standards board. However, despite their efforts, the ad still managed to affront a few people and had to be banned from telecasting on TV.

Ford United Kingdom – Mustang Ad

The second advertisement on the list that got banned from airing on televisions belonged to American automaker Ford famed two-door sportscar Mustang. The ad did not show anything extreme in itself as it was mostly a poetic reference featuring shots of stressed-out office workers and a voiceover reading the Dylan Thomas poem “Do not go gentle into that good night”.

6 banned car commercials: From VW to Renault

However, the notoriously strict advertising regulators in the UK decided that the Ford Mustang commercial encouraged dangerous driving and hence was banned from televisions.

BMW United Kingdom – M4 Convertible Ad

Yet another commercial that was banished from television was from the United Kingdoms. This time the ad belonged to the high performance convertible version of the German automaker BMW’s M4 two door sportscar. The advert showed the alternate lifestyles an M4 convertible owner can adapt to, either cruising the country hills or suiting up for the racetrack. Although this was something that did not resonate with the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK. The organization after banning the commercial stated, “we considered that in some shots it was unclear as to which setting was being shown. Although we acknowledged the capability of a car could be demonstrated in a track setting if it was obviously not in use as a public highway, we considered that the editing of the ad blurred the distinction between track and road.’

Honda South Africa – ‘Keep Up’ Ad

The Japanese automotive giant Honda Motor Company was also not sparred by some displeased people sitting at homes and authorities and one of their simple, yet impactful ad was banned from TV. This time again the ban occured in the United Kingdom. The Honda advertisement was nothing but a short advert that was meant to“inspire people to push their perceived limits” but just because of TWO people somewhere in the UK this ad was pulled out from TVs.

After banning the advertisement, the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK said, “While the ad did not include realistic depictions of the vehicles being driven in a dangerous manner, we considered, when taken altogether, the fast changing on-screen text, references to “pushing yourself” and “going faster”, the scenes of the cars, sound effects and accompanying sound track was likely to leave viewers with the impression that speed was the central message of the ad.”

Toyota New Zealand – Hilux Ad

As by now you may have may deduced that most of the commercials on this list have been banned for some of the most stupid reasons. However, just for this last commercial we are with the authorities. The advertisement showcased by the Toyota New Zealand was aired to promote that brands famed pickup truck Hilux. However, the way it depicted its capabilities was something that should not be promoted.

The advert showed numerous types of animals in hunting scenes and depicted that these animals were happy to be killed. Which every sane person understands that its not possible. Hence as this sentiment was shared by a majority of people this commercial was also banned from airing in television.

Utkarsh Deshmukh

Utkarsh is a passionate car enthusiast and Feature Writer at for over two years. He specializes in writing up-to-date news stories and deep dives into the auto industry. With a knack for cutting through the noise, Utkarsh delivers clear and informative pieces that keep readers engaged and informed about the latest in cars. (Full bio)