A HUNCOAT company has been forced to drop a TV advert following 30 complaints from viewers who claimed it encouraged dangerous and irresponsible driving.
The ad promoting Sleepmasters’ bed sale showed a man using his mobile phone at the wheel of a car.
It began with the man leaving his house to go to work, while his wife was in bed taking a picture of herself on her mobile phone.
The man was then shown sitting in the driving seat of his car, framed in the wing mirror, reading a message which said: "Day off xxx".
It then showed several products on sale from the company.
Sleepmasters, which operates from Bolton Avenue on the Huncoat Industrial Estate, said it was aware of the legal and social ramifications of the use of mobile phones and had therefore shot the scene on the driveway of the house where the car was stationary.
Clearcast, a company responsible for approving television scripts, also believed the car was stationary and pointed out that the man stepped into his car as he was receiving the text message from his wife.
It believes the car was parked on the drive and said the ad clearly showed a patch of grass and a parked car opposite the man’s car.
But the Advertising Standards Auth-ority upheld the viewers’ complaints and ruled that the advert breached the code on both health and safety and driving standards.
It said: "We considered that it was not clear whether the man was in control of the vehicle when he was using his mobile phone and concluded that, because of the ambiguity, the ad could encourage or condone dangerous and irresponsible driving and the use of mobile phones while driving."
The ad cannot be shown again in its current form.