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BMW SA slammed for 'drive it like it's stolen' ad

2014-07-01 10:27

BMW’S AD STOLEN: BMW’s ‘Drive it like it’s stolen’ billboard was stolen near Soweto. Mini has announced its first five-door Mini hatch will arrive in SA by November 2014. Image: Mini

BMW South Africa was rebuked over a controversial billboard near Soweto, the Sowetan reported on Tuesday (July 1 2014).

The advert featured an outline of a Mini Cooper, with a large hole where the car should be and it read: "Drive it like it's stolen!"

Two residents complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) stating that the advert promotes and glorifies the stealing of cars, speeding and reckless driving.


Macbeth Ngema and Candice Nene said the billboard was distasteful as it was placed near where musician Molemo "Jub Jub" Maarohanye and his friend Themba Tshabalala killed four school children and seriously injured two others in 2010 while racing Mini Coopers.

The two were sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2012. In June 2014, judgement was reserved in an appeal against their conviction and sentences.

The ASA decided not to rule on the matter after BMW promised not to use the phrase "drive it like it's stolen" in its advertising. The authority noted that, subsequent to the complaints, the billboard had been stolen.

BMW defended the advert and said the wording was chosen after the original billboard was stolen.

It said the phrase "drive it like it's stolen" was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the theft.

BMW SA's Edward Makwana told the newspaper that the automaker welcomed ASA's decision.


In December 2013 Wheels24 reported on a cheeky ad showing a Jaguar devouring a chicken in a parody of Mercedes' Magic Body Control clip showed in September that year.

In June 2014, it seemed Jaguar’s latest ad campaign was deemed too controversial, at least according to the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which banned four of the automaker's new promos featuring its new F-Type.

Watch Jaguar's banned advert!
Read more on:    mini  |  bmw  |  south africa  |  cars  |  new models

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