Carmaker hits the skids over advert

A radio advertisement featuring a woman crying after she returned a new Toyota Auris in favour of her old Volkswagen Golf has earned the German car maker a rap on the knuckles from the advertising standards watchdog.

The commercial, in which a man asks the sobbing woman what happened to her Auris, has her saying, “it just wasn’t a Golf”. The ad wraps with the line: “We all make mistakes but investing in a Volkswagen will never be one.”

The ad attracted the ire of Toyota Ireland, which made a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland on the grounds that it clearly inferred that buying a new Toyota to replace a second-hand Golf was a mistake.

Toyota also argued it was “hardly credible” that a car buyer would give back a brand new Toyota in favour of an old VW Golf. Toyota argued that Volkswagen had breached the ASAI code.

Volkswagen said its commercial, which was no longer on air, was in fact a response to a radio advert run by Toyota where a conversation between two characters implied it was preferable to own an Auris rather than a Golf.

In relation to the sobbing woman, Volkswagen said it was not unusual for someone who has purchased a new car to have regrets, a phenomenon which is known as “cognitive dissonance”.

The ASAI upheld Toyota’s complaint on the grounds that the ad “had unfairly attacked and discredited” Toyota and was in breach of the advertising code.

The authority said the ad was not to run again in the same format.

The Advertising Standards Authority also upheld separate complaints in relation to the FAI and Eircom.

An online discount offer to season ticket holders from the Football Association of Ireland was found to be misleading after one such ticketholder was unable to avail of the 15% discount when he checked.

In response, the FAI said there appeared to have been a mix-up with its service provider over the responsibility for running their online shop.

The FAI had its website amended to reflect the fact that the 15% discount would not be available until a later date.

Eircom was reprimanded for a promotional leaflet in parts of Dublin offering superfast eFibre broadband. However, two people complained to the ASAI when, inquiring about the offer, they were told eFibre was not yet available to them.

In response, Eircom said the majority of houses in the area were fibre-enabled and that its terms and condition did state “eFibre is subject to availability”. The ASAI said this information should have been more than a footnote on the leaflet and Eircom was instructed not to run the ad again.

Sliming products complaints upheld

-The ASAI upheld a number of complaints over slimming products offered through Groupon deals. They included Matrix T5 Weight Management Tablets, Raspberry Ketone Supplements, and a Matrix Diet Bundle. The online ads made reference to how the products could assist with “weight management”.

Two complaints were upheld against the Therapie Clinic for ads run in newspapers and online that a Chai Yi Tea product it sells can help lose up to 10lb in one week. The clinic failed to respond to the ASAI and the complaints were upheld. The ASAI said the ad was not to run again in its current form.


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