The answer simply has to be "NO"

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 16:35
ThreadID: 8743 Views:1750 Replies:7 FollowUps:9
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It's not often I get on my high horse but I've been following the lop-sided debate over 4WD advertising with a great deal of interest.

Thus far I have seen ONE well reasoned, objective, non-biased opinion. Congratulations, Melissa.

. . . . and you're how many months pregnant?

As Melissa suggested - the Advertising Agencies are only doing what they're paid to do - attract attention for the product. The starting point for the promotion of any product is what the industry calls a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). What makes product 'A' better than all its competitors, and therefore makes it stand out from the crowd? Most 4WD manufacturers and their agencies have difficulty doing this definitively, so they opt for an exaggerated, aspirational driving experience. Only fools believe that the images they see on television or in magazines are everyday experiences. If I make my own commercial claiming to be 'the best damned lover in the World' will I be inundated with enquiries from intelligent young women wanting a piece of the action? I don't think so!

Of course the answer to the poll should be a resounding "NO".

If the question was to read: "Aggressive, road warrior style 4WD ads on TV are detrimental to the image of the serious 4WD fraternity, and we should attempt to do something about it", then a response in the positive would be logical.


Because if you do, you simply open a Pandora's box. It is hypocritical to demand legislation because of something we believe to be wrong (note - not illegal), and yet castigate other parties for their demands on a differing view.

Some examples;
a) Every well reasoned person who drinks Coca Cola knows that it is probably doing them harm because of the massive sugar content - Do we ban Coke advertising?,
b) The majority of beer, bourbon, whiskey, or Glayva drinkers realise that after the equivalent of three alchoholic drinks they are doing their livers and brains irreparable damage - Do we demand legislation to enforce a three drink limit either take away or at the bar?,
c) The chance of being injured in a game of contact sport such as AFL, Union or League are quite high - Do we ban these sports?,
and my piéce de résistance,
d) National Parks are supposedly pristine sanctuaries for flora and fauna and therefore SHOULD ALL VEHICLES SHOULD BE BANNED FROM NATIONAL PARKS?

I'm sure I could find thousands of other examples given the time and inclination.

To quote Melissa's post: "At what point do people begin to take responsibility for themselves and their actions instead of pointing the finger of blame at someone else??? Personally I'm sick to death of this "it's everyone else's fault but mine" mentality that seems to be creeping into our society."

If you believe that the green lobby groups' very successful public relations campaign, which promotes aggressive, road warrior style 4WD advertising as typical of the mindless, irresponsible, unrealistic, misleading, and potentially dangerous things that four wheel drivers do, is detrimental to the way which we are perceived by the public, then do something about it. There is no point harping and whingeing about the advertisers, the vehicle manufacturers or the greenies. A ". . . bulldoze in a greenie" sticker only enforces the public perception.

Promote the fact that you are part of a genre who not only enjoy the Australian outback but who religiously care for, and maintain the sanctity of it. Demand that your representatives, whether they be 4WD internet forums, 4WD clubs, 4WD magazines, driving or travel related television shows, actively assert the responsibile attitudes which are prevalent within forums such as this. Unfortunately it is a lot easier to sit back and apathetically blame someone else for our predicament. The winners in this world are the one's who make a positive attempt to change for the better, the things which are important to them.

Maybe replace that ". . . doze in a greenie" sticker with something more positive. It doesn't have to be humorous to get the message across. Possibly, "I am a responsible 4WD owner who cares for our environment".

Getting down out of the saddle now!
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Michelle from ExplorOz - Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 16:49

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 16:49
The group who issued the challenge in the first place (WA commercial operators and associated 4WD clubs including the association) realised that there is no point telling the advertising agencies that we don't like the image they are portraying of us - they'd say, tough luck, why should they care... But put it to them that these ads do indeed have a very real potential to mislead people into attempting unsafe maneuouvers based on vision-appeal advertising and you do get action. They have taken the first steps in responding to the issue by accepting to run an article in a major advertising trade journal, so the slant on the challenge worked.

We are not demanding legislation change over our image but over the unsafe portrayal of what can be done in a 4WD vehicle. We are asking them to be more accountable for the accidents, the mishaps, even the fatalities that have and do occur when people recklessly go bush, cross unsafe river crossings etc.

Sorry, Wombat, I disagree. This poll is NOT about our complaint about our image, that is secondary to the main issue of safety and responsible advertising.ExplorOz
AnswerID: 38401

Follow Up By: Wombat - Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 17:28

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 17:28
I agree with you totally that the style of advertisement to which you are referring is an exaggeration of real life situations and it has me astounded that the appropriate advertising agencies could get FACTS approval for these advertisements and yet ban similar ads showing 2WD vehicles (Holden and Ford utes) doing doughnuts in the dust and speeding across the salt plains. Incidentally, the official reason for the ban was that they encouraged unsafe driving practices.

The simple solution to having the offending television advertisements banned is to document any grievances to FACTS;

Commercial Television Australia.

Postal Address:
44 Avenue Road
Mosman  NSW  2088

Telephone: 02 8968 7100
Fax: 02 9969 3520

If your desire to have these advertisements banned is overwhelming send them a letter highlighting the particular television commercial and its deficiencies. You may be surprised at the response.

If public pressure manages to have the advertisement/s withdrawn the advertising agencies will be ecstatic. A replacement commercial will be required, the cost to the vehicle manufacturers will be horendous and these costs will, of course be passed on to the consumers.

I also agree with the majority of voters that "Aggressive, road warrior style 4WD ads on TV are mindless, irresponsible, unrealistic and misleading"!


Although they may be to the stunt driver at the shoot.


And with no offence, or disrespect intended, to draw a parallel between these style of ads and the recent tragic deaths of two innocent children at a bungled river crossing is nothing but poor form.

YMMV"Live today as if there may be no tomorrow"

FollowupID: 27902

Follow Up By: Wombat - Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 18:20

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 18:20
I'm going home now to jump out of an plane on a skateboard like they did in that Coke advertisent. Wonder if it's dangerous?"Live today as if there may be no tomorrow"

FollowupID: 27908

Reply By: Member - Eric- Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 18:21

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 18:21
I must say I am very disupointed in myself . I rushed to say yes to the vote. I wondering what I would do , if I was the manufacure ? I look at the verious things I have advertised in my life , and now wonder how that add affected the people that purchased things of me. I remeber advertising some hi powered Jap cars , with the heading , DO YOU WANT TO OWN ONE OF THE FASTEST JAP CARS IN MELBOURNE . I had plenty of resposses , some asked if I could take some mod off the vehicle , others asked if it could be made, to travel faster . What should I do ? Stop selling fast cars , I wonder if a warning should ge fitted , SPEED KILLS , or THIS CAR MAY KILL YOU . Would it stop people purchasing these car ? I dont think so . We are starting to follow the political correct policy to closely I thing , and in the long run it will cost all of us dearly
AnswerID: 38421

Follow Up By: Wombat - Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 12:39

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 12:39
I heard a radio advertisement this morning which promoted the hands free feature of a mobile phone by suggesting that you could answer it while juggling three chainsaws. Maybe it should have had a disclaimer such as; "Juggling chainsaws may cause severe damage to your limbs or vital organs and should not be attempted while answering a mobile phone"?

When are we going to return to the days when we realised that common sense is a prevailing factor and that the common man or woman is responsible for their own actions."Live today as if there may be no tomorrow"

FollowupID: 28004

Reply By: Member - Jack - Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 19:54

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 19:54
If the Pollies want truth in advertising, let them start with their own political compaigns.
JackNo trees were harmed in the making or sending of this message.
However a great number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
AnswerID: 38433

Reply By: Member - Richard- Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 21:47

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 21:47
As long as you do not have a heart attack getting all worked up, go for the throat. It does you good to get worked up occasionally. Peoples perceptions of 4WD's are coloured by advertising and by adverse (and generally poorly informed) press coverage. (What do they say about truth and a good story?). I recently appeared before a Magistrate on a speeding offence for which I pleaded not guilty. Without giving you a long story I lost of course. The Magistrate, in her sentencing ($197 and no costs), said I should be careful because I drive a big 4WD with a bull bar. I ask you, I drive a Frontera, which weighs about the same as any station wagon, and I have a nudge bar mostly fitted so the plastic bumpers do not get decimated by St Ives shoppers. I did not argue with "Ma'am" for obvious reasons.Richard and Leonie, The grey nomads.
AnswerID: 38449

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 22:56

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 22:56
I did not argue with "Ma'am" for obvious reasons.

Why not? You were going to lose anyway could have put the fat cow in her place...
FollowupID: 27937

Reply By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 21:50

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 21:50
Gee Wombat, would'nt be in advertising would you? Scared of losing business?Just Do It!

AnswerID: 38450

Follow Up By: Wombat - Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 12:32

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 12:32

Of course I work in the advertising industry. I would have thought that was fairly obvious! That is why I have taken the time to offer an opinion which is based on 23 years of experience with marketing and consumer relationships. Conversely, I would never pretend to be knowledgable about some of the more technical 4WD questions which are raised on this forum, as I would never offer considered advice on whatever it is that you do.

As for being scared of losing business you only half read my missive. Banning the current crop of TV advertisements will generate more work for the agencies involved. Mind you if we had a motor vehicle manufacturer as one of our clients here I wouldn't be struggling to get a day off here and there to go bush - I'd be taking weeks and weeks off spending the profits."Live today as if there may be no tomorrow"

FollowupID: 28003

Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 00:05

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 00:05
why cant my navara pull asteroids and boulders home along the road form y wifes garden?????????

worth a try!1999 NISSAN NAVARA DUALCAB
2 awestruck kids (dads driving!)
AnswerID: 38481

Follow Up By: StephenF - Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 11:07

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 11:07
Did your wife make those scones?
FollowupID: 27986

Follow Up By: Member - Toonfish - Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 15:35

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 15:35
what scones????
did you mean the boab seed in my avatar?

we all no she can't cook?
oops now i've done it.

look mum a ferris wheel!1999 NISSAN NAVARA DUALCAB
2 awestruck kids (dads driving!)
FollowupID: 28529

Follow Up By: diamond(bendigo) - Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 17:54

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 17:54
you got the wrong model lolback by popular demand
FollowupID: 28561

Reply By: Hedonist - Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 02:05

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 02:05
Congratulations to you as well Wombat for forming your own opinion.
FWIW, I also disagree with the majority on this, albeit for somewhat different reasons...

One of the Truisms of surveys is that to get the answer you want you just have to ask the right question.

"Aggressive, road warrior style 4WD ads on TV are mindless, irresponsible, unrealistic, misleading, and potentially dangerous. They must change! Yes/No"

Result ? 90% Yes, 10% No.

Lets try asking that a different way:

"People who watch the unrealistic, misleading, aggressive, road-warrior style 4WD ads, will believe that their 4WDs should be driven the same way on suburban streets. Yes/No"

Same result? - I don't think so....

IMHO this survey is about as objective as Ray Martin, and applies a similar standard of scientific rigour. Sorry people, but a random survey carried out amongst a highly non-representative population sample, (a 4WD website) with no controls to prevent multiple voting and an extremely biased question has very little credibility - Cute, but don't mistake it for statistical analysis.

I hate to say it, but advertising is not the case of our image problem; nor is it the cause of the unrealistic expectations of novice drivers. Yobbos have been causing untold environmental damage and inexperienced drivers have been getting into trouble in remote locations since long before television was invented. The only difference today is that there are a lot more of them.

If you want to blame someone for the popularity of 4WDs then you would have to include not only the manufacturers but also the 4WD magazines, travel documentarys, Les Higgens, Mike and Mal, Lara Croft and probably Russel Coight as well. Lets ban the lot of them. On second thoughts, lets not.

Although it is nowhere near as glib, or sexy, the answer STILL lies in education. Education of 4WD owners in Tread Lightly! principles, and education of the general public to break down the stereotypes espoused by the environmental lobby. Far better that we apply pressure for manufacturers to provide responsible information to new owners, (or, God Forbid, training) publicise our endeavors as a 'force for good' on environmental issues, and don't stand idly by when we see someone out there in the wilderness areas who is acting irresponsibly. For some of us that means a change in attitude - it is not enough just to spout the party line, we have to be more environmentally aware than our detractors if we are going to keep the access to wilderness areas that we have right now.

And anyway, if manufacturers cannot advertise their 4WD as capable of conquering the Sahara before lunchtime, do you really think advertising them as taxis and shopping trolleys is going to help the situation????

AnswerID: 38495

Follow Up By: Wombat - Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 12:50

Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003 at 12:50
Yes Pete the poll was slighted towards a yes vote and initally I put my brain into neutral and voted yes. Let's face it a certain politician/political party managed to structure a certain referendum question in a similar vein simply to get the result they wanted.

The thing that seems to be getting lost in this debate is the fact that it is so negative. Your penultimate paragraph sums up exactly what I was trying to suggest. Instead of denegrating those with an opposing view, blaming second rate advertising, or simply talking a good fight in forums such as this 4WD owners who give a damn should be out there educating the public that responsible 4WD activities are positive for the environment."Live today as if there may be no tomorrow"

FollowupID: 28005

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