JOHANNESBURG - The Advertising Standards Authority here has banned a print advertisement for BMW's M-badged high-performance cars.
The advertisement boasts that BMW builds 'the fastest cars on the planet' and parodies other makers of high-performance models.
The work of BMW agency TBWA Hunt Lascaris, the South African advertisement drew complaints from a number of carmakers - among them Ferrari.
The advertisement showed a close-up of an automobile badge depicting a despondent donkey on a car that resembled a Ferrari.
The Italian carmaker complained that the advertisement exploited the goodwill in Ferrari's prancing horse badge and disparaged Ferrari properties. BMW argued that the vehicle shown was a 'composite' which was not identifiable, and constituted a parody which is allowed by the ASA code.
The ASA ruled that while the illustration was a parody, it would be identified with Ferrari.
'This does not constitute fair play among advertisers,' it ruled. 'Ferrari is equated to a donkey which is, to say the least, not complimentary to a sports car icon.'
BMW was asked to revise the advertisement if it wished to use it in future.