A blog for the New Zealand creative advertising industry, now at www.campaignbrief.com/nz. Email news to: michael@campaignbrief.com

Friday, May 12, 2006


Toyota loses TV 'battle of the sexes' campaign


Complaints against Toyota's "battle of the sexes" television advertising
campaign for its new Rav 4 have been upheld by the Advertising Standards
Complaints Board.

The Saatchi & Saatchi advertisement shows a couple booby-trapping each
other's early morning preparations as they try to be the first to reach
their Rav 4 and drive it to work.

In a finding released yesterday, the board found the advertisement 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.

The board said the 17 complaints received indicated 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

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.

"It's a killjoy attitude that's so typical of the politically correct. Don't
they realise it's a spoof?"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

17 petty motherfuckers.

I'm ashamed to be a New Zealander.

5:08 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

17 petty motherfuckers.

I'm ashamed I'm trying to be a New Zealander

5:13 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

'17 petty motherfuckers'.
When I read infantile comments like this, it makes me ashamed to be in advertising.

6:13 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with 5.13

It reminds me of what a deeply conservative, boring and comedy-free country we all live in.

6:44 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meh, I won't miss it.

9:18 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ad was pretty av so no great loss.

9:38 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Denny Crane.Toby Talbot

9:45 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's tone it down for you then 6.13 and restore your faith in advertising.

17 petty meanies.

I'm ashamed to be responding to your comment.

If this isn't PC gone mad then I'll eat my hat.

11:54 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what. cheap, slap-stick comedy. Best reserved for the cartoon channel on sky.

5:03 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what kind of high art advertsing have you done lately 5:03pm? This ad has been emailed all over the world. Bet your hasn't.

Maybe, just maybe, you were one of the 17....

11:14 PM NZST

Blogger ollie Langridge said...

I'm ashamed to be back in NZ. This is one of the few great ads I have seen lately

9:39 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

tragic sad cunts, send them a sense of humour or a bullet

12:29 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good, but it's not great

12:58 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this mean it's now not eligible for Axis?

Oh dear.

3:51 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we can assume, the 17 were not 'everyday people'.

10:44 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Maybe not so many returns in your posts?

11:01 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing how the insidious erosion of our freedom is happening all around us and we don't give a fuck. We see bans and prohibitions sneak in under the radar in the guise of political correctness and do nothing, because they don't affect us directly. When something like this incredibly stupid ruling by the complaints board affects us we get all shitty, but nothing will really happen. When smokers got banned from buildings we thought fuckin' serves them right, but what we really should have done was stand up for their minority rights. That's how these weasely little fuckin politically correct bureaucratic hitlers get their way, because no one stands up in any numbers and says stop this shit. Write to your MP about it. They are bound by law to respond.

5:01 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"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." I wonder why nzgirl never got theirs banned then?

5:29 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

5.01 I'm with you. In fact, yours is the best comment I've read on this blog.

Look at all the freedoms that have been taken away over the last 20 years. It's out of control.

Our lives are being shaped by over protective Mums and politicians who want over-protective Mums to vote for them.

Society must find away to unclench it's sphincter or we are all going to suffocate.

Write to your politician.

5:53 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it odd that 7 of the 12 members of the Advertising Complaints Board (those 'petty motherfuckers' who make the decisions) are industry representatives, including employees of agencies.

Ad industry reps hold the majority of the decision making power - there are only 12 board members altogether.

So forget about writing to your MP, you just need to look next door

5:59 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I both agree and disagree with 5.01's comments; Firstly, you are absolutely right about the erosion of our freedoms for the sake of political correctness. Eventually we'll all be reduced to the lowest common denominator and the ground-breaking ideas we strive for in this creative industry will be rail-roaded. Creativity is a freedom worth protecting.

On the other hand, smoking is a filthy habit and anyone who smokes should be put outside. It's like when my dog farts inside the house. I kick it outside. Same bad smell. Same deal.

The thing that should really concern us is that unlike our smoking reform, which is for the better health of the majority of people in New Zealand, the Rav4 TVC has be ousted by a very very small minority (0.000425%). It's just not common sense. Common sense is the best judge in most situations like this, because it inherently states the point of view of the majority.

6:31 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice stat.

6:44 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell Yeah! Long live the new right!

I thought the Rav 4 spot was a documentary on Parnell corporate ladder climbers.I thought Toyota was brave to sponsor it.I thought if the actors was brown it could be the third Alan Duff "Once were Warriors" film or a new "Lift" ad.I thought we needed more violence on telly.I thought everyone who expressed a dissenting point from me should be shipped out to the salt mines.I thought Rodney Hide had actually been elected on this issue.I thought it appropriate to dismiss the rulings of bodies set up to interface with our audience.

Then I thought we were all very self involved and had overlooked the simple brief that guided us to be entertaining or enticing WITHIN the the norms of public acceptance,and that we weren't really pushing envelopes or shaping public opinion but selling cars and bog paper and piggy banks and junk food and perhaps we should try harder to win over those in opposition to us and at the same time not get too swell a head.

Then I thought you read like a fatuous cunt.
And I stil think that.

8:17 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Saatchi company car is a RAV4.

8:42 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:17. You just might be in the wrong industry. If we have to work inside the miniscule anus-sized hole you are referring to, TV is going to get even more boring than it already is. That's some pretty reactionary drivel you just wrote.

9:36 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...


No.What I wrote was conservative drivel.The reactionary drivel was posted by 5:01

And good luck expanding the consciousness of the New Zealand public while selling moistened toilettes.Cunt.

10:22 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said 'cunt'. I think that should be removed from this blog. Can I get 16 other people to agree.

8:38 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I didn't say cunt.I wrote it.In response to 5:01's "weasely little fuckin politically correct bureaucratic hitlers".I find his comparison of those who place limits on New Zealand advertising to a regime which determinedly set out to eradicate Jews,gays and the intellectually handicapped from its midst to be odious and so hyperbolic as to undermine his intent.

Interesting to note that previous Saatchi work for Toyota;"everyday people" was beautifully successful because of its inclusive nature.The divisive,violent (allbeit cartoonish) nature of the Rav4 is not adequately defended by stating (as does 11.14 pm)that "This ad has been emailed all over the world"

Bet those who paid for it would,rather than an international e mail rep,have a spot that had a better screen life.

Saatchi's strap line "a car to make your own" does not dictate an execution reliant on volence or spousal strife.I figure Mom has sent you boys to your room until you think of a better idea.Dont be petulant during your time out.It does you a disservice.

9:51 AM NZST

Anonymous anonymouse said...

It's a shame - the ad could have offset the 'violence' aspect with better humour - I'm sorry but it simply wasn't that clever. I'll bet whomever made it allowed the very forceful director to walk all over the script and change it round to suit what he thought was funny - and his suggestions often aren't. You guys are the 'brand guardians', not the director. There's a place for slapstick - i'm not certain a toyota ad in NZ is that place.

I think more than anything the Rav4 ad was off-brand. (Same with the BNZ Piggies).

Disagree at will, you will.

4:43 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Further to what anonymouse said...

The Rav4 end line "a car to make your own" could be paraphrased (accurately,arguably) merely "as aspire to this";a bland meaningless enticement from an ad that does nothing by way of telling the audience of the vehicle's merits other than its something well heeled yuppies will fight over it.They will also fight over cocaine.And child custody (so why dont you all make a funny/violent ad about that and see how it fairs?)

I suggest the ad alienates a majority of Toyota's existing client base from the get go.

Restrictions and censorship of creative expression is an issue to get heated over.The "Bugger" ad may have been worth defending,the Rav4 spot aint.Pick your battles.

5:44 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I suggest the ad alienates a majority of Toyota's existing client base from the get go."

The whole point of Toyota's brand advertising campaign "Everyday People" was to show that Toyotoa owners are just that, your average joe. I mean, the Toyota Camry is the quintiessential average car.

The general population either liked the ad or were indifferent. Only 17 people disliked it as much to write in!

At least we didn't get another car ad where everyone sings the same boring song.

10:58 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:17. I disagree with your view that I'm a fatuous cunt, fat cunt maybe, but not fatuous. I'm not over-estimating the importance of advertising or bemoaning this decision in islolation, I'm just wary of the power attributed to the type of people that inveigle themselves into positions of influence in any area that affects us adversely. And they always do it insidiously because that's the type of inadequate that is attracted to these roles.

You're not on the panel are you?

9:28 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...


That is a much more palatable expression of your feelings.Well done.Did you get help from the Write Group?

10:27 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it was all my own work. Thank you for your endorsement - it means a lot to me.

10:40 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was just insidious

10:44 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't listen to the voices - paranoia is a dangerous condition. I was serious when I said your endorsement meant a lot to me bacause your posts made some good sense (apart from the bit about me being a fatuous cunt of course!) and there's not much of it about these days.

10:52 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how they can ban the ad but not the car. Cars directly cause: global warming, urban sprawl, soulless cities, noise, death, injuries, smog, fat unhealthy people, and fucken mega-centres. Surely these things are more concerning to society than a fucken ad.


2:47 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grant,I think you want www.greenpeace.org/

We here are in advertising;to serve the clients' wishes,just like all the other indentured creatives in Western Art from Michelangelo to Middleditch.

Toyota make cars.Saatchis were paid to advertise 'em as best they could.The issue is the efficacy of their work within the strictures of the local media and the palatability of such restrictions.

I'd welcome a chance to discuss morality with you further.Over whale meat sushi.In my Hummer.Would you mind if I smoked?

10:54 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And furthermore...

Turn on your television. I just watched 'Lost', which I love by the way, and saw Sayed encourage a woman to shoot a man in the back with an arrow. He then lives through this bloody nightmare until they decide to take the arrow out of his back. At this point, they show some flashbacks days as an arab torturer. He was forced to torture his friends. And we were forced to watch it. I loved it and understood what to take from it. I guess that's because I'm not an idiot.

But maybe that should have been taken off the air too because it encourages people to lock people in rooms with secret codes and torture them.

And we wouldn't want that.

Are there any scam ads to talk about?

11:42 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and furthermore" I think you want http://www.bsa.govt.nz/
..and I think your post was fatuous and disingenious.

8:37 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sayed didn't encourage her to shoot that bloke in the back - he tried to stop her. He could have shot him if he wanted to as he had a rifle. Does that change the moral of your story at all?

12:03 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

BNZ piggies wasn't off brand, BNZ didn't have one. Navy blue's not a brand. Unless you're the Navy, maybe. Hey, anyone heard the "word" sisomo outside a Saatchis powerpoint preso yet?

8:47 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it just popped up in a discussion about Lovemarks.

2:23 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of you have missed the point.

1. Advertising is self governing (ie not subject to Gov't interference).
2. There are "rules" which we all abide by, the very rules which our industry contributed to.
3. If we break the rules - and a lot of beer advertising is coming very close - then we WILL get Gov't regulations. And do we really want that?
4. Saatchi/Toyota broke the rules, and they probably knew they were doing so/pushing the envelope. So it was very irresponsible of both of them.
5. No fucking point in blaming the process - change the bloody rules.

The sad thing is that it wasn't a bad idea, and it was well executed. But hey, they took a risk and it hasn't worked.

3:19 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

In an effort to freshen up this dabate,discussing the following may be pertainent...

"In order to present our message with any chance of prducing a lasting impression on the public,we have had to kill some people"
Theodore Kaczynski (Unabomber) printed in the Washington Post and New York Times 19th September 1995.

"Violence is the last resort of the incompetent"-attributed to Issac Asimov.

11:42 AM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Genghis Khan used violence to conquer most of Asia and Europe. I'd say that was fairly competent.

7:03 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Take it up with Issac and Toby.Bring Ghengis if you need support.

7:16 PM NZST

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring 'em on sunshine - and who's Ghengis when he's at home.

2:19 PM NZST


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