The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) in the United Kingdom criticized a Toyota Hilux marketing campaign for exaggerating the truck's off-road capabilities, despite the Hilux's widespread appeal due to its versatility and superior performance.
The Advertising Standards Authority has never before prohibited an advertisement for lacking environmental responsibility until now. The ASA made a historic decision when it concluded that the ad campaign advocated for more off-road driving at the cost of environmental protection.
The organization that works to ban outdoor advertising filed a lawsuit over two 2020 ads. In one viral video with the slogan "Toyota Hilux," a fleet of Toyota Hilux vehicles crossed a riverbank in a nature documentary. The second campaign that was deemed inappropriate included a graphic portraying a convoy of Toyota pickup trucks kicking up dust in a desert setting with the slogan "Born to Roam."
Toyota defended the ads by saying they accurately portrayed the Hilux and its capacity to perform in harsh conditions, especially in the agricultural and logging sectors. The carmaker said the clip was recorded in Slovenia on private property with the owner's consent and emphasized its work in electric cars since 1997 as a dedication to environmental care.
However, the ASA ruled that, notwithstanding the fantastical nature of the settings, the commercials "presented and condoned the use of vehicles in a manner that disregarded their impact on nature and the environment."