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Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 01:38 GMT 02:38 UK
MG Rover rapped over 'speed' ads
MG Rover
The car maker has defended its latest adverts
Car manufacturer MG Rover has been ordered to withdraw adverts for its latest models because they placed too much emphasis on speed.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the adverts for the company's latest Z series of saloons could encourage unsafe driving.

Newspaper and direct mail adverts featured pictures of three MG cars, accompanied either by the slogan Can your head take the rush?, Can your nerves bear the buzz? or Can your heart stand the thrill?

The company argued that because of MG's "rich sporting heritage", the performance element of the car was very important.

Concerned

But the ASA was concerned about statements which described one of the car's engines as an inferno which could "rocket you from 0-60 in 7.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 131mph".

The UK speed limit is of course 70mph.

The ASA said pictures which showed blurred streetlights and traffic speeding past a "reduce speed now" sign placed an "undue emphasis" on speed.

The company maintained that, as responsible manufacturers, it was mindful of the danger associated with speed.

It said it had used studio photographs of the cars, not pictures of cars on the move, so as not to encourage irresponsible driving.

The authority asked the advertiser to amend the claims.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones
"The ads included pictures of blurred streetlights"
See also:

11 Jul 01 | Business
MG Rover trims losses
11 Jul 01 | Business
Where now for MG Rover?
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