Driving and lipstick application


Harvey Nichols insists the advert, which shows the driver nearly running over a man while using the rear-view mirror to apply her lipstick, was tongue in cheek.

Tongue in cheek or not, the ASA has banned this Harvey Nichols lipstick ad after receiving 12 complaints that the ad was "irresponsible, because it showed unsafe driving, and offensive to people who had been, or who knew people who had been, involved in road accidents."

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The copy of the ad says "a Harvey Nichols Fashion Victim 125 new lipsticks by Pout now available".

The advertising standards authority banned the ad, which appeared in women's style magazines as well on poster sites, after about a dozen people complained.

"Vogue, Elle and Harpers & Queen, which all carried the ad, said they thought it was unlikely to offend their readers."

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caffeinegoddess I'm a creative director and copywriter with digital, integrated, and traditional expertise. I love sound strategy and great executions.

Comments (6)

  • tlevitz's picture

    heehee... poor taste but still... Just 12 complaints? Call me insensitive but I've been in a few traffic accidents and know a few victims myself and am not offended. What a scary precedent this could set - if there were more than a dozen complaints, that might change things (and indicate that the audience's sensibilities were seriously mis-estimated) BUT...

    Harvey Nichols could always try to spin this as a PSA as well... or, you know, stick a 6 pt. disclaimer at the bottom a la "professional driver... closed course... blahblahblah"

    seriously, I'm tired of stupid people taking all the joy out of things. C'mon, we do know better and ought to be ashamed of using the the "I saw it in a magazine/on tv" excuse for the carnage that ensues from attempting this at home and provides questionable grounds for them to sue.

    As I've said before, it's a sad, sad day when not only can we not expect people to have an iota of common sense but that these same folks will cheerfully stand up and publicly admit that they didn't know better and freaking expect compensation for it.

    Jun 11, 2003
  • caffeinegoddess's picture

    I am a bit surprised that the complaints weren't about the stereotyping of women as bad/careless drivers. At least that would have made more sense, to me anyways, than the traffic accident complaints.

    Jun 11, 2003
  • Dabitch's picture

    I have to add what Alec said on adlist:

    In a related story, all Nike ads have been banned thanks to repeated calls
    by angry people who have no feet. The group claims Nike ads are mocking them
    and their abridged-leg status. Reebok, adidas, Footjoy, Asics and New
    Balance have also been named in this new suit claiming emotion distress.

    Further, overweight people have now banded together to form an alliance
    against fast-food advertisers. Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy

    Jun 11, 2003
  • tlevitz's picture

    you know what's sad? For a split second, I fell for that one. D'oh!

    Jun 12, 2003
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    It's interesting to speculate on when society will be mature enough to get past these needy reactions to ads that are in poor taste. We are so close to a time when the disadvantaged were overtly oppressed. Clearly not enough time has been put between then and now, and there is still rampant discrimination in so many areas. Still and all such exquisitely sensitive reactions are clearly overwrought when viewed in context. I hardly think it will be more than twenty years before these reactions will fall off in intensity. Maybe then people will have a laugh. It's a silly ad, we should be forgetting about it, not writing complaints.

    Jun 20, 2003
  • anonymous's picture

    Societal speculations via the historical context of advertising reactionaries give me the poops.

    Jun 20, 2003

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