A Tom Hiddleston advert for Jaguar has been banned for encouraging irresponsible driving.
The on-line advert, called The Art of Villainy, showd the Thor star discussing what makes a great villain and revving a Jaguar car in an underground car park before driving off at speed as he quoted Shakespeare’s Richard II.
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the YouTube advert breached its guidelines because it encouraged unsafe driving and was therefore socially irresponsible.
The watchdog said that the noise of acceleration and speed with which Hiddleston’s car left the basement “appeared to suggest significant speed within an enclosed environment”.
This was not helped by Hiddleston saying “now brace yourselves” as the car accelerated through the London streets and out of a tunnel leaving other vehicles in its wake, the regulator ruled.
“We considered that the second part of the ad suggested that the car was being driven at excessive speeds and that the ad therefore encouraged irresponsible driving,” the ASA ruling stated.
“We told Jaguar Land Rover not to portray speed of driving behaviour that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly in future.”
In its submission to the authority, Jaguar Land Rover said that the Hiddleston ad was set almost entirely in the car park and that “during this time the car barely moved”.
The regulator said that it expected Jaguar to take the advertisement down from its official YouTube channel, but admitted that it was powerless to stop more informal sharing by YouTube users.
“We only regulate the claims made on Jaguar’s own YouTube channel,” said an ASA spokesman.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.