Car-spinning ad is OK - but note that 'real life stunts' are performed by a pro

12 June 2019 - 11:30 By Nico Gous
The Advertising Regulatory Board ruled in favour of an ad showing a woman spinning her car and performing stunts.
The Advertising Regulatory Board ruled in favour of an ad showing a woman spinning her car and performing stunts.
Image: Facebook/Converse South Africa

Ad watchdog the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) ruled in favour of an advert which shows “women can achieve anything that they put their minds to, including excelling in professional sports that might not be traditionally female”. 

This comes after Darren van Rensburg and Deven Naidu complained about Skye Distribution’s TV commercial for Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers.

In the commercial four women – Karabo Poppy, Stacey-Lee May, Zulaikha Patel and Just Robyn – shared their stories.

Some scenes shows May spinning her car and performing spinning-related stunts, including hanging upside down out of the driver-side window by her legs while the car is in motion.

May says in the voice-over of one commercial: “I’m just trying to change people’s way of thinking about spinning.”

Van Rensburg complained about the commercial airing between 7pm-9pm on DStv’s Vuzu channel which focuses on youth entertainment.

“Van Rensburg argued that the advertisement basically shows the youth that it is cool and OK to dance on top and outside of moving vehicles, when in fact it is dangerous.”

Naidu argued car spinning is associated with drag racing.

“The message sent to the youth is not a positive and inspiring one, but a wrong one.”

Skye Distribution argued the commercial uses “real-life stories” about female empowerment to show “women are creating their own narratives and challenging the status quo”.

“The main objective for the campaign was to evoke emotion and tell the stories of incredible women from their own perspective and not in an expected way, but in a way that felt right and authentic.

“These are the stories of women who wear their hearts, style, attitude and ambitions the way they want them. The campaign is about showcasing how women are capable of doing anything they put their minds to in a society that tells them they cannot.”

They added there is a disclaimer which states the spinning was filmed in a closed environment and performed by a trained professional.

“All stunts were performed on the purpose-built Nasrec raceway drift track, and it was closed to the public,” the company said.

“It is also important to note that car spinning is now officially considered a sport in SA.”

ARB dismissed the complaints and said the commercial shows “young women doing unusual activities – often things that would not stereotypically be expected of women”.