Australia’s advertising watchdog has banned a Ford Ranger Raptor television advertisement for appearing “reckless” and “unsafe”.

According to marketing and media industry news publication Mumbrella, Australia’s Ad Standards said the commercial in question depicted what “would constitute unsafe driving” and showed “reckless” driving techniques.

Complainants said the advert “encouraged unsafe and destructive driving by others”.

Ford Australia, however, argued that the scenes were filmed on private land – with a professional driver behind the wheel of the performance bakkie – adding no other vehicles nor any pedestrians were anywhere to be seen in the commercial.

“The Ranger Raptor is depicted driving off-road for the duration of the Ranger Raptor TVC. Due to the loose nature of the surfaces it travels over, at times some terrain can be seen being displaced by the Ranger Raptor’s off-road tyres,” the Blue Oval brand said, according to Mumbrella.

“Ford feels this is indicative of the off-road surface rather than any sort of dangerous driving (such as burn-outs), and adds that this was a private testing facility with all driving approved by the owner of the land.”

However, Ad Standards ruled against the brand.

“The speed that the vehicle is seen travelling down the dirt road, dramatised by the sound of the engine and filming techniques, appeared reckless. The panel considered the speed of the vehicle appeared unsafe when the vehicle became airborne,” the advertising authority ruled.

While the offending advert has since been suspended, we’ve managed to dig up a clip (courtesy of Ford New Zealand) showing exactly the same scenes, albeit bearing slightly different text and without the voiceover. Watch the advertisement below (alternatively, watch the Australian version at the Mumbrella link above)...