David Coulthard safe driving ad banned

Image copyright ASA
Image caption The advert featured David Coulthard disguised as a taxi driver

A watchdog has banned a TV advert for a safe driving app featuring former Formula One driver David Coulthard.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) concluded that it “encouraged dangerous and irresponsible driving”.

The advert for Aviva featured the Scottish racing star disguised as a taxi driver performing various stunts with passengers in his cab.

The firm said it aimed to promote an app encouraging safe driving but the ASA ruled it should not appear again.

A total of 58 people contacted the agency to complain about the advert.

Image copyright ASA
Image caption The former Formula One driver performed a series of stunts in the advert

Aviva argued that it was intended to show – via the depiction of an extreme journey – that safe drivers should not have to pay for other people’s bad driving but should be rewarded.

It said that the three versions of the advert depicted an “exaggerated version” of the kind of driving its app aimed to discourage.

However, the ASA considered that the focus on high speed and stunts “overshadowed” that underlying message.

It said the driving was “extremely reckless” and “could potentially be emulated by viewers”.

It said the advert must not appear again in its current form and told Aviva it must not encourage dangerous or irresponsible driving.

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