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Tech & Science A brand of bicycles denounces a "censorship" of an anti-car ad in France

18:30  30 june  2020
18:30  30 june  2020 Source:   lexpress.fr

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The French advertising regulatory authority requests to make changes to the advertising spot, which was broadcast without problem in Germany and the Countries -Low.

Un vélo de la marque néerlandaise VanMoof (illustration). © - (c) SDP A bicycle from the Dutch brand VanMoof (illustration).

The Dutch manufacturer of electric bikes VanMoof on Tuesday denounced an opinion from the French advertising regulatory authority asking it to modify a spot deemed anti-car. This announcement provoked a debate on social networks in full boom in the use of bicycles in France , and in full thrust of ecological ideas as the pressure increased to reduce the place of the automobile in the city.

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The advertising spot, authorized and already broadcast in the Netherlands and Germany, features images reflected on the bodywork of a sports car. Old smoky factory chimneys, traffic jams, an accident are awarded, then the car liquefies to make room for an brand bike.

VanMoof suspects the Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority (ARPP) of defending the interests of the automotive industry. "The ARPP's decision is quite disturbing. It prompts us to question the legitimacy of this body which apparently defends the interests of certain sectors and also of certain companies," said Alfa-Claude Djalo, public relations officer for the business. "

We have the feeling of having been censored". "The spot was broadcast in the Netherlands and in Germany. However Germany is a renowned automobile industry and there has been no problem" in this country, he added. VanMoof has no plans to appeal or take the matter to court. The company "prefers to give public visibility" to what it "considers as a drift".

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"Anxiety-prone climate"

"Certain plans in the reflection of the car appear, in our opinion, disproportionate and bring the entire automotive sector into disrepute by blaming it alone (...) while creating a anxiety-provoking climate. They must therefore be modified, "wrote the ARPP in a letter. This authority invokes the "ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing of the International Chamber of Commerce" which "prohibits any exploitation of the feeling of fear or suffering in commercial advertisements".

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"We refuse to make any modification, because we do not want to distort our video and make it a watered-down version that would please the French automotive industry," said Alfa-Claude Djalo. "From the start, we knew that this spot would not be an ordinary bicycle advertisement. It was a call to action, a chance to leave the past behind and make real progress that benefits everyone. s. Challenging the status quo will always be in conflict, but that has been our goal from the start, "said Taco Carlier, co-founder of VanMoof, quoted in a statement.

"For the diffusion of a television advertisement, the ARPP delivers before diffusion a systematic opinion (24.320 opinions in 2019). But in the end the responsibility of diffusion belongs to the media and the platforms", indicated to AFP Stéphane Martin , Director General of ARPP. "This is why the instrumentalization of censorship is only a well-known device by certain actors for having free publicity," he accused.

Association law 1901 independent of public authorities, the ARPP is financed by the contributions of 800 member companies. It is administered by representatives of the advertising professions (advertisers, agencies, media, advertising media, etc.). "Three quarters of the top 100 advertisers investing in communication are members of the ARPP," it said on its website.

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