Car advertisers playing it safe

A common theme in advertisements for new cars is speed and the open road – and this recent Holden Commodore television commercial is no exception. However, it was the speedometer that caught my eye.

Holden Commodore television commercial

Out on the open plains and foot to the floor, yet only 98 km/h on the speedo.

98 km/h on the speedometer

The reason for such a low speed – the Advertising Standards Board prohibits the depiction of the following activities in motor vehicle advertisements:

  • Unsafe driving,
  • Driving in excess of speed limits,
  • Driving practices or other actions in breach of any law,
  • Driving while being fatigued, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and
  • Deliberate and significant environmental damage.

With nitpickers reporting anything and everything objectionable to the Advertising Standards Board, small details such as the speedometer reading can’t be missed by advertisers!


You can find the Voluntary Code of Practice for Motor Vehicle Advertising on the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries website. The Advertising Standards Board also has a page on common vehicle advertising complaints.

The full Holden Commodore commercial can be found here:

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3 Responses to “Car advertisers playing it safe”

  1. Moments before that, you can see the actual speedo from 50 to 140, and there’s no sign of the needle at all…

  2. Billy Phillips says:

    It reminds me of a Top Gear (RIP) episode where Clarkson and May are challenged to make a VW advertisement, and they sub in a clip of the speedometer showing the car travelling at a sedate speed.

    The other thing that always gets me in these clips, the aggressive “manual” like shifting of the gear lever, usually in an automatic car (as in this case).

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