BMW M760i ad banned in England
BMW just found out advertising performance is against the law.
British authorities have banned a magazine advertisement for the BMW M760i (pictured) because it allegedly sends the wrong message to motorists.
The M760i is the first-ever 7 Series with a M emblem, and it's the quickest BMW to date. It stands to reason that the Munich-based automaker would talk about the sedan's outstanding performance credentials in its promotional material. After all, it's the self-proclaimed purveyor of the ultimate driving machine.
The ad -- which hasn't made its way onto the world wide web yet -- highlighted the M760i's zero-to-62mph time of 3.7 seconds, and pointed to the twin-turbocharged, 6.6-liter V12 engine under the hood. "Luxury just lost its manners," it concluded.
After asking Telegraph Magazine to pull the ad, England's Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) instructed BMW to "ensure they did not make speed or acceleration the main message of their future marketing communications," according to British magazine Autocar.
Surprisingly, Telegraph Magazine stepped up to defend the language in BMW's advertisement. The publication pointed out the advertised speed of 62 mph is below the speed limit on British freeways, and there's no law that dictates how quickly -- or slowly -- motorists can get there.
Hitting 62 mph in under four seconds is perfectly legal. Flirting with the M760i's top speed of 155 mph on a British motorway would be illegal, but the ad made no mention of maximum velocity. Finally, the phrase "luxury just lost its manners" was pure advertising puffery, the automaker explained.
BMW and Telegraph Magazine didn't make a strong enough case, and the M760i ad remains banned throughout the United Kingdom.
It's not the first time an advertising watchdog has called out a car company for showing consumers the best side of a specific model.
In 2012, a French judge asked Toyota to pull all billboard ads showing SUVs and pickups driving on unpaved surfaces. The court ruled the photos encouraged irresponsible behavior such as the destruction of nature.
Like BMW, Toyota chose not to appeal the decision.
Photos by Ronan Glon.