Toyota Ireland has been told it can no longer use the phrase “Best Built Cars in the World” in its advertising, following a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland Complaints Committee.
Toyota Ireland says it is baffled by the ruling given that an industry expert commissioned by the ASAI stated the claim had been substantiated in relation to the ‘best built mass produced cars in the world’ and the Chief Executive of the ASAI’s initial recommendation not to uphold the complaint.
The ASAI undertook its enquiry following an initial complaint by Owens DDB on behalf of Toyota’s largest competitor Volkswagen, who subsequently withdrew the complaint in late 2015, and a very small number of individual consumer complaints. The ASAI has now refused to allow an appeal of the ruling despite the weight of evidence provided.
Steve Tormey, Chief Executive, Toyota Ireland commented:
“We are absolutely bemused by this ruling from the ASAI and their refusal to allow an appeal. It would appear to us they are dancing on a pin head as regards the use of the English language and common sense, particularly given that the independent automotive industry expert commissioned by the ASAI expressed the viewpoint that the proposition had been substantiated in relation to the ‘Best Built Mass Produced Cars in the World.’
“Toyota firmly believes that the validity of its brand line is stronger today than ever. Increasing substantiation provided over a number of years, accepted consistently by the ASAI, has been verified by industry surveys, consumer reports, academic viewpoints and by the independent industry expert commissioned by the ASAI.
“Since the ASAI expert concluded that Toyota produces the ‘Best Built Mass Produced Cars in the World’, and given that Toyota clearly operates within the mass market, (which in the context of the Irish market equates to 99.98% of cars, with the 0.02% in question being super cars, such as Ferrari or Maserati) we maintain that The Best Built Cars in the World has not only been substantiated, but is clearly understood by the Irish Consumers.
“The ASAI decision is all the more baffling given we have been using the proposition in the Irish market for 20 years. During that time, the ASAI has repeatedly accepted our substantiation for the brand – such substantiation having been provided on two separate occasions since 2010 alone – thus concluding that the ‘Best Built Cars in the World’ claim was not misleading to consumers.
“We will now move forward and continue to do what we do best, dedicating our time and energy to serving the best interests of the 390,000 Irish customers of Toyota who have, and continue to, put their faith in the best built cars in the world.”