Toyota Hilux pickup truck advertisement banned in UK. Here is why
Toyota Motor is facing heat over two of its video advertisements on the Hilux pickup truck, a capable off-road model from the Japanese auto giant. The advertisements, which were promoted by the carmaker on its social media handles, have now been banned in countries like United Kingdom. The advertisements showcased a bunch of Hilux pickup truck traversing through challenging terrain, its natural habitat, while its performance is described as nature's true spectacle. However, the advertisement failed to comply with the advertising code in UK. Here is why.
This is the first time that Advertising Standards Authority, the UK regulator on advertising rules and regulations, has banned a commercial on off-road vehicles. Earlier, it came close to banning a Jaguar Land Rover advertisement for similar reason in 2021. While JLR was let off due to confusion over the message it delivered through the commercial, the regulator found the Toyota Hilux advertisements having a disregard for its ‘impact on nature and the environment’.
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According to the UK regulator, the Toyota Hilux advertisements have been banned for failing to uphold broader standard in the UK’s advertising code, saying they are devoid of ‘sense of responsibility to consumers and to society’. The ASA issued a statement that read, “The impression given by the driving scenes and messaging in both ads was one of driving regardless of its purpose, across off-road environments and natural ecosystems which had no regard for the environmental impact of such driving." Besides the ‘one of nature’s true spectacles’ taglines, the other tagline used for the Toyota Hilux advertisements was 'Born to roam'.
Toyota Motor has also responded to the ban slapped by ASA on the Hilux advertisements. In its defence, Toyota said the the advertisements were not filmed to promote irresponsible driving in any manner. Its statement read, “The vehicle footage in this instance was obtained in a non-UK location, on private land, with all necessary permissions, in a non-ecologically sensitive environment. The static image used in the display ad was CGI, having no environmental impact on that land."
Toyota Hilux was launched in India in 2022 at a starting price of ₹30.41 lakh (ex-showroom). It is powered by a 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that can churn out 201 bhp of power and between 420 Nm and 500 Nm of torque, depending on the transmission unit. The Hilux comes with standard 4x4 drivability feature, a high and low-range transfer case, A-TRAC traction control system, along with a downhill assist control feature.