A total of 17 complaints, lead the Advertising Standards Complaints Board to review a Toyota Rav 4 ad by Saatchi & Saatchi. It was found to have "breached three principles in its code of ethics: that advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility, should not contain anything likely to cause serious or widespread offence, and should not contain dangerous practices which encourage a disregard for safety." They also claim that 17 complaints constitutes evidence of widespread concern.
Complainants said the advertisement sent an inappropriate message to children about unsafe behavioural practices, that it would be disturbing to some children to see a "mother" and "father" trying to hurt each other, that it would be likely to encourage emulation by some people, and that it was not socially responsible to show domestic violence as a means to winning use of an inanimate object.
The board said the advertisement's "obvious hyperbole and humour" did not prevent it from effecting a breach of the code of ethics rule regarding safety.
National's spokesman for political correctness eradication, Wayne Mapp, said the decision pandered to the "discontented killjoy minority" who could not distinguish between reality and a fictional world.