Press Release: Audi’s donuts on beaches ad pulled following GoodSense complaint

ADVERTISING CONSUMER TRENDS IN SUSTAINABILITY ETHICAL MARKETING GOODSENSE NEWS MARKETING TRENDS SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS SUSTAINABILITY

ADVERTISING, CONSUMER TRENDS IN SUSTAINABILITY, ETHICAL MARKETING, GOODSENSE NEWS, MARKETING TRENDS, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS, SUSTAINABILITY Press Release: Audi’s donuts on beaches ad pulled following GoodSense complaint

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mmWritten by:16 March 2022

Press Release: Audi’s donuts on beaches ad pulled following complaints

Audi New Zealand has pulled adverts showing their logo carved in the sand of wild beaches, as if drawn by driving donuts, after a complaint by GoodSense ethical marketing.

GoodSense believed the ads were in breach of the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority Code because they showed damage to the environment and illegal dangerous behaviour.  When Audi were made aware of the complaint by the Advertising Standards Authority Chair they pulled the ads, confirms the Authority in their January 2022 report published this week.

The ads had run on the Stuff website and on the Audi New Zealand website in early December and were the focus of a significant campaign to incentivise SUV sales at the start of summer.

“These ads were part of a major campaign, featuring expensive photography, by a global brand,” says GoodSense MD Kath Dewar.  “We’re pleased Audi pulled them but the damage was already done – Kiwis saw a supposedly reputable brand advocating dangerous driving and environmental harm to the beaches we all love.  It’s a poor look for Audi, encouraged activity the police condemn and showed a careless attitude to nature.”

Shot of Audi advert as it appeared on Stuff website - shows donuts making the audi logo

 

 

 

 

The ads ran right at the time when New Zealanders were starting to visit beaches in greater numbers and when birds like endangered NZ dotterels/ turituriwhatu, who nest on beaches, are raising tiny chicks at their most vulnerable.

“It’s hard to believe a brand like Audi, with significant marketing and ad agency resources, could get something so basic so doubly wrong”, says Dewar. “We complained because advertisers need to take responsibility and do better. We’ve only got 2,000 dotterels left.”

Advertisers in New Zealand are responsible for ensuring their ads comply with Commerce Commission rules and adhere to the industry’s voluntary Code, operated by the Advertising Standards Authority.  Because the ads were removed, the Advertising Standards Authority has deemed the complaint settled. GoodSense would like to see Audi make a donation to Forest & Bird in apology for advocating driving on beaches in a way that could easily squash dotterel eggs or chicks or scare parents from the nest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I imagine they sold some SUVs this summer so a portion of the profit from that could go a long way when volunteers in communities are working hard to save these birds,” Dewar suggests.

Full details of the complaint and the review process are online here.

The Advertising Standards Code is online here. Watch the vid to see our founder and MD talk about the campaign and why it was pulled >

4 Responses to " Press Release: Audi’s donuts on beaches ad pulled following GoodSense complaint "

  1. Sabine says:

    Thanks for making a complaint to the ASA and inspiring us all to look out for ads that harm the environment

  2. Ray Skinner says:

    A practice which is sort of related, is some vehicle distributors placing advertisements on TV, and perhaps other places, of new model vehicles which appear to enhance their actual speed. This could strongly influence some potential purchases (and users) about speed, power and in some cases aggressive driving. Seems to apply mainly to utes and SUV’s. I have observed this over a period of years.

    • mm Kath Dewar says:

      Thanks Ray for this insightful comment. I don’t see a lot of tv commercials but it sounds like the glamourising of speed and agressive driving is definitely an issue. I’m always happy to take a look at any specific examples you might come across! Best wishes Kath

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