BMW M235i

A complaint by an Australian movie-goer has put the brakes on an extended in-theater ad campaign by BMW, and drawn the attention of the country's Advertising Standards Board. According to the anonymous complaint, the ad "portrays an unfavorable message, contrary to safe and sensible driving."

The ASB upheld the complaint, which said the ad for the new M235i showed driving "typical of hoon activity," thanks to the burnouts, dusty drifts and runs up to redline. It's that last one that seems to have gotten the spot in the most trouble, with the ASB acknowledging that even though the car wasn't shown breaking the speed limit, the ad was in violation of a voluntary code of conduct for automotive advertising, according to Australia's Go Auto.

BMW doesn't seem to agree, pointing out that the ad uses creative editing, aggressive camera angles and other filming tricks to "add visual impact."

"We would also add that these creative measures are likely to have been exaggerated from the viewer's perspective in a cinema environment with Dolby surround sound and high definition, super-size cinema screens," BMW's Australian outfit said, according to Go Auto.

It's unclear what movies the ad was shown before, but as BMW points out, considering the "cinematic environment," it suggests the case "be dismissed summarily as a frivolous complaint."

We'd be inclined to agree with BMW, largely due to the setting. Considering some of the stuff that happens in movies today, showing a bit of sliding about and some wide-open-throttle runs is hardly the worst thing people will encounter.

Of course, we'd like to know what you think. Scroll down and have a look at the advertisement, then be sure to vote in our unofficial poll on the matter. You can then continue the debate down in Comments.

Do you agree with the Australian Advertising Standards Board's decision?
Yes531 (12.1%)
No3617 (82.7%)
Not sure223 (5.1%)