T-Mobile ad ‘says using BlackBerry while driving is OK’

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a number of complaints that a T-Mobile press promotion encouraged dangerous driving.

The advertisement, which ran in The Evening Standard, The Guardian and The Times, publicised T-Mobile’s business services by showing a woman driving a car with its glove box stuffed full of remote-working gadgets and office equipment. The ad carried the tagline: “Work where you work best. Business data solutions from T-Mobile puts your business wherever you are.”
Because the woman could be seen to be driving with only one hand on the steering wheel, consumers could infer that she was engaged in another activity while driving.


This drew complaints from several members of the public, saying the advert suggested the equipment could be used while on the road, encouraging “irresponsible” and “dangerous” driving.

T-Mobile disputed the claim, saying none of the devices were pictured being used by anyone at the wheel. The mobile operator also showed the ASA another of the ads from the series – showing office equipment in a fridge and pointed out that people weren’t likely to take that to mean they should work remotely in their kitchen.

The advertising watchdog, however, agreed with Joe Public, in light of the recent ban on driving while using a mobile phone.

The ASA said in its adjudication: “We considered that, because the woman could be seen to be driving with only one hand on the steering wheel, consumers could infer that she was engaged in another activity while driving.