Cyclist in safety ad wore no helmet

Embargoed to 0001 Wednesday January 29Undated still from a video issued by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) taken from a Cycling Scotland advert which has received five complaints. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday January 28, 2014. A television ad promoting safe cycling has been banned for showing a rider without a helmet pedalling along the middle of a road. The ad, part of a campaign by Cycling Scotland, five viewers complained that the ad was irresponsible and harmful because it showed a cyclist without a helmet or any other safety attire riding down the middle of the road. See PA story CONSUMER Cycling. Photo credit should read: Advertising Standards Authority /PA WireNOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%A television ad promoting safe cycling has been banned for showing a rider without a helmet pedalling along the middle of a road.

The ad, part of a campaign by Cycling Scotland, said in a voiceover: "Not a lot of people know this but you should treat a cyclist the way you treat a horse ... slow down, treat them with care and give them their space on the road."
But five viewers complained that the ad was irresponsible and harmful because it showed a cyclist without a helmet or any other safety attire riding down the middle of the road.

Cycling Scotland told the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that wearing a cycling helmet was not a legal requirement in Scotland but a personal choice for the individual - a fact it considered was reflected in the ad with footage of various cyclists both with and without helmets.

Cycling Scotland also referred to its helmet policy, which discussed the possible undesired outcomes of wearing helmets, including limiting uptake of cycling and "influencing a driver's behaviour to be less careful when interacting on the road".

In relation to the cyclist's position on the road, Cycling Scotland said that given the width of the road featured in the advert, the cyclist was safer riding out past the parking area where they could be clearly visible to other road users.

It told the ASA the shoot for the advert was supervised by one of its most experienced cycling instructors.

The ASA acknowledged the ad was primarily aiming to encourage motorists to take care when driving near cyclists.

But it noted that the cyclist in the final scene was not wearing a helmet or any other safety attire and appeared to be more than half a metre from the parking lane.

It said: "We understood that UK law did not require cyclists to wear helmets or cycle at least 0.5 metres from the kerb. However, under the Highway Code it was recommended as good practice for cyclists to wear helmets. Therefore, we considered that the scene featuring the cyclist on a road without wearing a helmet undermined the recommendations set out in the Highway Code.

"Furthermore, we were concerned that whilst the cyclist was more than 0.5 metres from the kerb, they appeared to be located more in the centre of the lane when the car behind overtook them and the car almost had to enter the right lane of traffic.

"Therefore, for those reasons we concluded the ad was socially irresponsible and likely to condone or encourage behaviour prejudicial to health and safety."

It ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form and added: "We told Cycling Scotland that any future ads featuring cyclists should be shown wearing helmets and placed in the most suitable cycling position."

Cycling Scotland chief executive Ian Aitken said: "We are disappointed with the adjudication of the ASA Council and the statement that future ads should always feature cyclists wearing helmets. Our guidance on the issue of helmets and safety attire for adults on bicycles mirrors the legal requirements set out for cyclists in the Highway Code.

"There is a broad spectrum of research and opinion across the road safety and health communities when it comes to issues relating to helmet use and the ad reflected this diversity by showing cyclists both with and without helmets.

"The advert was produced in close consultation with an experienced cycle training instructor who carefully considered the use of road positioning and safety attire required for cycling in the daytime. The road positioning in the advert complies with the National Standard for cycle training, which is referenced within the Highway Code.

"The driver of the car in the advert also follows the Highway Code, which states that vulnerable road users, such as those on a bicycle, should be given at least as much space as you would give a car when overtaking.

"Cycling Scotland fully intends to pursue the ASA Council's independent review process open to us."

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and co-convener of Holyrood's cross-party group on cycling, said: "This is a ridiculous ruling and is deeply unhelpful in the effort to make cycling an everyday activity.
I think the ASA needs to get some perspective.

"Cycle helmets are a personal choice, and their ruling essentially tells cyclists to stick to the kerb when many of us feel safer cycling with plenty of room around us, especially when there are so few dedicated cycle lanes on busy city and town centre streets."

Politically incorrect: 1950s advertising
See Gallery
Cyclist in safety ad wore no helmet

We begin with breakfast. Or in this case, Post Grape-Nuts. And because this clearly delighted woman has been sticking to her delicious low-fat cereal, she CAN buy the floral summer dress, while the poor, overweight frump in the background looks on with envy and disapproval.

Of course, this sort of advertising still continues in the 21st century, except it's rather more sophisticated these days. Slim and pretty women always sell more clothes than plain or dumpy ones.

What did American advertisers think women wanted in the 1950s? More financial independence? Pay equality with men? A European holiday? Better orgasms or birth control? What they really wanted was a better soap powder.

Tide's got what women want! The crudity of the message, some 60 years on, is breathtaking.

Plenty of other brands, of course, had been busy promoting cleanliness for several decades beforehand. One new soap was Dove, a novel brand back in 1957. "One quarter cleansing cream - ordinary soap dries your skin but Dove creams your skin while you wash."

Predictably women were the target while men were groomed by marketeers to worry about hair (buy XYZ hair tonic for added confidence). Women were also gagging for softer loo roll. "New soft toilet tissue brings comfort women long for".

Men, it seems, couldn't care less how abrasive the experience was (and not a lot seems to have changed).

While detergent and food manufacturers attempted to focus the minds of many females on the home, motor manufacturers were also zeroing in on women, though often only as back seat passengers, as this Ford ad makes clear.

However the Independent Electric Light & Power company had other ideas. Not only were women in the driving seat in this company's futurisistic vision of the future, they had also taken to the air and were piloting their own craft too. But the flight was only to the shopping mall (note the stacked grocery bag) followed by the school run.

At least Independent Electric Light & Power had the presence of mind to predict roof solar heating panels (at least they look like solar water heating panels on the house roof in this depicted ad).

Of course, many women didn't have any kind of life in the week at all, so busy were they with cleaning, cooking and blending in with the ironing board. But every Friday night they had a chance to see LIFE.

"For five days a week," simpered this women's story advert, "she was a housewife; at the weekends a lady of leisure. It was the sort of thing that led to a split personality."

Really? It didn't lead to a bored, frustrated and rebellious personality instead? How much, then, has changed, would you say?

Read Full Story