Tech giant Apple has been forced to withdraw an advertisement featuring Australian songstress Delta Goodrem after it was accused of promoting “unsafe” and “illegal” driving practices.
The controversy comes after the pop singer and judge on Channel Nine’s The Voice recently had her license suspended and received a fine for speeding.
The ad for Apple’s streaming service Apple Music pictured Goodrem in the passenger seat “moving around in a motor vehicle with no clearly visible safety belt” and sticking her forearm and head out the window.
Complaints to the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) said the commercial was “irresponsible”.
“Delta Goodrem listening to music in the front seat of a moving car — not wearing a seatbelt!!!!!! And her body/head is out of the moving car — illegal,” one read.
Many complainants said Goodrem was a role model to young Australians.
“There are enough problems with young people today and these issues are also against the law,” a complaint to ASB said.
Goodrem was distracting the driver in the advertisement, another argued.
The Board upheld the complaints and Apple Music has since pulled the advertisement from air.
In its response, Apple Music said it was confident the advertisement did not “depict, endorse, or otherwise encourage activities contrary to prevailing community standards”.
“The individuals in the vehicle were both wearing lap seat belts at all times while the vehicle was being driven, and the advertisement does not contain any images suggesting otherwise.”
— Jason (@planetdelta) June 11, 2017
Apple Music said it was in the process of inserting a disclaimer to state that lap seat belts were worn.
“Additionally, those scenes where the passenger’s arm and hand are on the car window frame are in the process of being edited from the advertisement.”
In its determination, the Board said the advertisement breached Road Rules and prevailing community standards.
“The advertisement depicts a driver and passenger of a moving vehicle not wearing seat belts, the passenger leaning out of the window, the passenger distracting the driver by using her mobile phone and dancing, and the driver tapping the steering wheel and not paying attention, which all amount to a breach of the Road Rules and therefore prevailing community standards,” the ASB said.
“Whilst older members of the community may be aware that older cars would be fitted with lap belts, younger members most likely would not.
“A depiction of Delta dancing and moving around in a motor vehicle with no clearly visible safety belt is likely to imply to younger viewers that no seatbelt is being worn and that a relaxed attitude to safety in a moving motor vehicle is acceptable.”
Goodrem was recently suspended from driving and fined for driving over the speed limit on at least two occasions, Daily Telegraph reported earlier this month.
Goodrem filed for appeal on June 5, but her management emailed the court prior to a hearing to inform she had decided not to appeal.
The New Daily has contacted Goodrem’s label Sony Music for comment.
Apple Music declined to comment further.