Car hire firm censured for ‘black cars matter’ advert
AN ONLINE leasing company that used the slogan “black cars matter” to sell Audis has been censured by the advertising watchdog for “trivialising serious issues” raised by antiracism campaigners.
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled against a Facebook advert from Newcastle-based LingsCars.com which featured an image of a black raised hand with a wristband displaying the Audi logo alongside a black Audi A4 car.
The advert also included the words: “In light of recent events, I’m resurrecting my Audi deal… Black cars matter. I asked Holly for a headline for this A4… and she said ‘Once you go black you never go back’.” The post added that the car had a “manual gearbox (big gear knob)”.
The ASA said it received three complaints about the advert, adding that using the image of the raised fist was insensitive, offensive and socially irresponsible.
LingsCars said it did not believe the post was offensive and described it as a pun on Audi’s “Black Edition” models. It added that the raised fist was a symbol of the Black Power movement, and had been used positively and not offensively in other contexts.
However, the watchdog said using that slogan and icon to “simply to draw attention to an ad for a car had the effect of trivialising the serious issues raised by those movements”. It also said references to a “big gearknob” were “likely to be seen as objectifying and fetishising black men”.
The ASA ruled that the advert breached the advertising code as it was likely to cause serious offence on the grounds of race. It said that the advert was socially irresponsible and banned it from being used.
LingsCars was set up by Chinese immigrant Ling Valentine, who defended the advert and said the three complaints were made by a “pathetic bunch of losers”.