Why would Australia ban the “Expression of Joy” TV ad?

BMW Z4 | July 1st, 2009 by 15
z4 expression of joy

Herald Sun Australia reports that the new BMW Z4 campaign, “Expression of Joy” has been banned from the TV stations. The reason: [the ad] “would encourage car hoons to spin and burn their tyres.” The entity that forced the ban is the Advertising Standard Bureau, the Australian’s advertising watchdog.

Now those of us that live in the U.S. might find that quite ridiculous since we’re used to seeing a large variety of TV ads that are at least morally questionable, but truth is that even after watching the Z4 “Expression of Joy” clip, we can’t see eye-to-eye with them. True, there is some spinning in the commercial, but it all revolves around slow paced circles that have a single purpose: to paint the surface underneath in order to create the art work envisioned by the artist Robin Rhode and director Jake Scott.

The interesting part is that the campaign is being used across the globe and it has been successfully running in the U.S or UK for quite some time now.

So the question is: are those people really that conservative? “The board noted that the advertisement does depict in a number of places the driver intentionally allowing the wheels of the car to lose traction and perform . . . a four-wheel drift”. Come on….seriously? Lose traction….drifting….this commercial is all about art and there is obviously no intention to promote any street racing, Tokyo drifting or whatever they want to call it…

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Of course, BMW responded back and they were pretty much in line with what we just said: “It is a bit of a case of a piece of art and the freedom of art being thwarted by Victoria’s anti-hoon laws”. Keyword: ART.

BMW spokesman Toni Andreevski continued: “We believe the audience can distinguish between fantasy and reality.”

We honestly don’t even see how could someone confuse that commercial for something else, when we first saw it, we were focusing mostly on the painting part and that part only.

BMW decided to let this one go: “….Safety is important to us, and we have agreed not to appeal.”

We love our Aussies friends very much, but we couldn’t let this one slide without reporting it.

Here is the full commercial: