ASA dismisses ‘dangerous’ driving complaint in HTC One M9 ad


Claims the advert promoted dangerous driving were dismissed by the Advertising Standards Authority

A complaint claiming that an online advert promoting the HTC One M9 encouraged ‘illegal and dangerous driving’ has been dismissed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The advert at the centre of the dispute includes a woman speaking on her mobile phone whilst in a moving car. It featured on the official HTC website and has the caption “LET THEM STARE.”

HTC disputed the claim, however, making reference to a disclaimer at the bottom of the advert. It read: “The model on this page is a passenger and not driving the car she is travelling in.”

The ASA did not uphold the complaint, noting that it “appeared that she was sitting on the passenger seat in a left-hand drive car.” It added that HTC confirmed this impression in the disclaimer.

The ASA also considered the “LET THEM STARE” statement was more likely to be regarded as a promotion of the M9’s attractiveness. It dismissed claims that the slogan suggests consumers ignore any attention they receive when using a mobile phone behind the wheel.

An investigation into the ad was also made under the UK Code of Non-Broadcast Advertising, but the ASA found HTC to be in breach of nothing.