BMW Radio Ad Was Banned After Furious UK Listener Complained About ‘Irresponsible Revving’ Sounds

BMW Radio Ad Was Banned After Furious UK Listener Complained About ‘Irresponsible Revving’ Sounds


A radio ad in the UK has been taken off the air after a listener made a formal complaint about hearing a BMW M car being revved.

The advertisement for the BMW M brand was launched earlier in the year and started with the revving sound of an M model. Immediately after, a voiceover read: “We could use big words like striking, muscular or captivating to tell you what it looks like, or use an alluring combination of colorful words to describe exactly what it feels like. But all you really want to hear is this…” before the engine was revved once again.

reports that the sounds of the revving engine lasted for less than a second of the 30-second ad. BMW added that the sound was recorded when the vehicle was stationary.

Nevertheless, a listener complained about the advert to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Advertisements for vehicles in the UK must not demonstrate power, acceleration or handling characteristics, except in a clear context of safety. In addition, speed and acceleration claims must not be the main selling message of an ad.

While the ASA said that it didn’t view speed and acceleration as the main message of the ad, nor did it reference speed in a way that could encourage dangerous or irresponsible driving, it still decided to ban the ad.

“The ad demonstrated the power of the car, not in the clear context of safety, and in a way that suggested excitement, we concluded it was in breach of the code,” the ASA confirmed in a statement.

“BMW UK accepts the decision of the ASA and this advert will not be broadcast again,” a BMW spokeswoman added.