20 December 2015 / Corporate
Toyota New Zealand has today advised it will stop screening its new Hilux television commercial effective immediately.
Toyota New Zealand Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Alistair Davis said this decision was not taken lightly and reflects the feedback from members of the public that the ad has unintentionally offended.
“We apologise unreservedly for any offense we have caused. We’ve listened and we’ll stop screening the ad.
“The public and in particular Toyota’s customers are the cornerstone of our business and we’ve been closely monitoring the ad’s response and felt the groundswell of detractors was growing.
“We’ve taken their feedback seriously and appreciate the frankness in which our critics have disclosed their comments to us.
The audience we were hoping to positively engage with this story is unlikely in our view to share the opinions of those we have offended, and are likely to see the ad as being a computer generated exaggeration of real life meant to be amusing rather than shocking.
“That was unquestionably how we envisioned the advertisement being received.
“However, some viewers are genuinely worried about the message the advertisement sends, and so for that reason we have decided to stop screening it,” says Mr Davis.
Toyota has a history of using animals in amusing situations as part of its advertising campaigns and the company always ensures its ads are filmed responsibly.
The animals portrayed in the latest Hilux advertisement are regularly and sustainably hunted and fished except for the possum, which is a familiar pest.
Toyota is committed to the protection of the environment and wildlife and has ongoing partnerships with several organisations in New Zealand to work towards a sustainable future.
Absolutely no real animal images are used in the advertisement. The animals portrayed in the film are all CGI animated characters, not live animals.
The TVC achieved a TVCAB (New Zealand Commercial Advertising Bureau) rating of PGR. The advertisement was designed to comply with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).