AAA Rejects Motor Industry Advertising Code


The Executive Director of the Australian Automobile Association, Lauchlan McIntosh, has asked the Federal Government to reject a Motor Industry Advertising Code recently developed and apparently adopted by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).


Mr. McIntosh said the Code produced by the FCAI failed to address the concerns of many motorists and road safety experts that the irresponsible use of speed and aggressive driving in advertising contradicted basic road safety messages.


He said the FCAI code, which had been developed and adopted without community consultation, applied only to activities on public roads.


"Under this Code a current television advertisement showing a car swerving through toys on a driveway could still be allowed even though a recent report indicates that Australia, with New Zealand, has the highest rate of accidents involving children on driveways in the world," Mr. McIntosh said.


"Virtually all of the current advertising using speed and aggressive driving takes place off public roads in public use or recreation areas, so the offending advertisements would stay on air. Our concern is about the encouragement of irresponsible driving practices through advertising, not where the driving takes place.


"There have been numerous complaints received by motoring clubs of many months from motorist. The introduction of a suitable code cannot be delayed any longer. The motor industry has now had over 18 months to address the concerns of road safety experts and the AAA, but has failed.


"We believe the approach by the FCAI to Government and community calls for action has been tardy and dismissive. The Government has been patient enough on this matter and must now act to ensure a responsible Code is adopted immediately. We recommend the FCAI code (attached) be amended to remove all references to ‘public roads’ in Section 1, and that Section 2 be deleted.


"We understand the matter will be discussed at a meeting of Commonwealth, State and Territory Transport Ministers next Friday in New Zealand. We call on those Ministers to take a united stand on this issue by making it clear to the FCAI and the motor industry that it either immediately adopt an acceptable code of advertising conduct (amended as suggested) or have a code imposed upon it," Mr. McIntosh said.

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