Dutch bike ad banned in France for creating a ‘climate of fear’ around the auto industry

An ad for Dutch cycle brand, VanMoof, has been banned in France for showing cars in a bad light.

It’s a pretty strong ad with apocalyptic scenes of raging traffic, police sirens, industrial chimneys spewing smoke, overcrowding, and hell fires that burn hot enough to melt cars. The endline is: “Time to ride the future.”

Made with London production company Builders Club, the commercial has run without incident in Germany and The Netherlands, but it was too much for the French Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP), the Guardian reports.

A letter from the ARPP to VanMoof said: “Some images in the reflection of the car are, in our opinion, unbalanced and discredit the entire car sector. The images of factories/chimneys and an accident create a climate of fear. So they will have to be adapted.”

VanMoof founder Taco Carlier is having none of it. He said: “It is amazing that car companies are allowed to cover up their environmental problems while censoring those who question this issue… the cars reflect the rat race of the past, inviting viewers to rethink their modes of transportation in the city for a cleaner, greener future.”

Clearly the auto industry needs all the help it can get at the moment, but the ARPP ban has probably done more for the sales of VanMoof bikes than it has for Peugeot, Citröen or Renault.

You May Also Like

About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.