Road safety ad defended by watchdog

A campaign featuring a TV advert of a cartoon girl character hit by a car did not breach advertising rules, the Advertising Standards Authority watchdog said.

Five viewers complained about the Department for Transport (DfT) ad, saying it distressed their children aged four to seven. Most of the children saw the ad on children's channels. The advert, in which the girl holds her midriff, and wears a neck brace and a plaster on her head, is part of a campaign warning children about the dangers of not dressing brightly in the dark.

She steps in front of a car with a nursery rhyme-style voice-over saying: "She always liked to look her best, so didn't wear a nice bright vest, or any clothing that was bright, when she was out at nearly night, but traffic couldn't see her see, And now she isn't so trendy, A car bumped right into her guts, And covered her with bruisy cuts."

Regulator Clearcast approved the ad and said a timing restriction was unnecessary.

The DfT said warning children about not dressing brightly in the dark was a cornerstone of its six to 11-year-old Child Road Safety Policy.

Copyright © Press Association 2010