Car advert sparks 1,000 complaints

An advert has been branded shocking, offensive and unsuitable for children by the advertising watchdog as it shows a Volkswagen engineer fighting with several versions of himself.

The Volkswagen Golf advert received more than 1,000 complaints, making it the fifth most complained about advert of all time.

The 100-second TV advert, and a 40-second edited version, should not be shown again before 9pm, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled.

A series of fight scenes in the advert see identical men use car parts as weapons and a man punches another in the face.

The final sequence shows a chief engineer fighting several versions of himself, with a voice-over saying: "Sometimes the only one you have to beat is yourself... The new Golf."

The ASA said in its ruling: "The opening punch to the chief engineer was shocking and set up a series of violent set pieces that included the use of weapons."

The longer version of the advert could cause "serious offence and distress" if screened in the early evening, it also found.

Volkswagen said the "highly stylised and choreographed" adverts, which attracted a total of 1,066 complaints, were not intended to condone violence or cause offence in any way.

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