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Snow joke

Pleased with news that road tax on SUVs and other high CO2-producing vehicles has been raised in the Budget. Land Rovers and Range Rovers are in the highest tax bands, which is bad news for people who use them to get around of course, but good news if it stops even some of the thousands of Britons considering buying one (or a RAV, or an Espace, or a Porsche 911...) this year from doing so.

One of my all-time least favourite adverts is the recent one for the Land Rover Discovery, in which some driver in a Land Rover on the Arctic wastes (actually a snow-covered airstrip) comes up to the side of an "eskimo" pootling along on a sled before pulling away and metaphorically kicking snow in the eskimo's face. A second version of the ad has the eskimo join the driver inside the toasty Discovery and chat away in, er, Eskimo, presumably saying, "Your idiotic SUV is scaring away all the seals, you chump!". A nice reminder of the way CO2 emission, partly from cars, is (I believe, I know some of you won't agree with me) messing with the landscape of the Arctic and consequently the local way of life.

I tend to be a bit po-faced about this kind of thing, it must be said, and the advertising agency (RKCR) said it was intended to be funny. Actually, the Advertising Standards Authority received 71 complaints about the spot, but did not uphold any of them. in its defence, RKCR mentioned that "...Land Rover promoted a Drive Responsibly Off-Road policy which featured on all their press materials. They also had an extensive global program that helped many projects protect and develop the environment that ranged from rescuing animals in Africa with the Born Free foundation to working with the National Trust."

That's all right then.


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