AIB Bank has defended a car loan advertisement which was criticised for depicting conflict with cyclists as rites of passage for new drivers.
A spokesperson for AIB wrote: “We thought long and hard about how to balance each of the many scenes the driver experiences in our ad. In the ad, the driver recognises the vulnerability of the cyclist as another road user and apologises to him.”
The Dublin Cycling Campaign said it was “An ill-advised” advert aimed at young drivers.
Responding to AIB this afternoon, the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “That isn’t really the tone conveyed by the ad’s narrator, and the cyclist is portrayed as an aggressive, confrontational character.”
They added: “Interactions between drivers and cyclists can be a matter of life and death, yet this ad seems to portray them as a minor irritation for drivers.”
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On Twitter last night, the campaign said: “It includes a scene depicting an angry encounter with a cyclist clad in pink lycra, suggesting that this is a rite of passage for new drivers. Hey @AskAIB, we need to talk…”
On Twitter others have highlighted how the advert also portrays getting a parking ticket as “bad luck” and amounts to normalising “selfish, illegal driver behaviour.”
The advert can be viewed at http://gaslight.ie/aib-first-loans where the makers include the description: “Had a ball depicting the first year in the life of a guy’s first car. 27 scenes shot in 16 locations over two fast and furious days. And coffee, lots and lots of coffee.”
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