The advertisement opens with a couple travelling in a car. The woman is driving. They stop at a pedestrian crossing and the woman turns to her male passenger and poses the following question:
“Do you wanna feel? It’s nice and warm”
The man appears perplexed, responds “okay,” and reaches over to touch the woman’s breast.
The female driver then takes the man’s hand and places it on the steering wheel of the car. The man says “Oh”. This scene is accompanied by a male voiceover which states:
“The new Oh by Opel. The Corsa with heated steering wheel…”
All complainants considered the advertising to be offensive and sexist towards women. Two complainants considered the language used to contain sexual innuendo, while one complainant also considered that the advertising was not suitable for children and considered it inappropriate that it could be viewed at any time during the day on RTE/TV3 Player.
The advertisers said that the advertisement in question was meant to be light-hearted and they had never intended it to be demeaning to women. They said that the female driver portrayed was in control at all times and when the man misinterpreted her query, she clearly indicated very quickly that he was wrong and corrected him.
The advertisers said, however, that the advertisement should not have been available on the Player, as indicated by one complainant, before 9pm and that they would put procedures in place to ensure that this did not happen again.
Complaints not upheld.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaints and the advertisers’ response. They noted the light-hearted tone of the advertisement and that the woman did not appear at any stage to be unduly upset by the man’s misinterpretation of her query. The Committee concluded that the advertisement had not breached the requirements of the Code and did not uphold the complaints.