Land Rover ad banned for ‘misleading’ scene after receiving just two complaints

Two Land Rover TV advertisement have been withdrawn after a "misleading" parking scene saw the SUV teetering over a cliff edge.

The clip was 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 shot of one of the cars reverse parking on the edge of a cliff, using the vehicle’s parking sensor to guide them.

The parking sensor system showed "on road" mode when the Defender reversed towards the edge, where a red line mapped a shape of a boulder in the camera.

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

The ban came as two viewers complained to Advertisement Standard Agency (ASA) and challenged if the parking sensor would warn of empty space.

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

But they believed the side shots of the advert clearly showed that the car was reversing towards a boulder, which was big enough to have picked up by the parking sensors.

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

However, ASA rejected their explanation and ruled that the advertisement had breached the regulations under "misleading advertising" and "motoring".

They wrote in the ruling: "Although some small rocks were visible as the vehicle reversed, they appeared to be incidental to the scene and we considered it was not obvious that the parking sensor was reacting to the rocks rather than the edge of the cliff.

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

"Because we understood the car’s parking sensors reacted to objects behind the vehicle, rather than to empty space such as a drop, and the rocks were not sufficiently prominent to counter that interpretation, we concluded that the ads misleadingly represented the parking sensor feature."

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