Mitsubishi defends use of “road tax” in new TV ad campaign

mitsubishi "road tax TV ad

“Road tax is a thing of the past,” says Mitsubishi in its new TV ad, which first aired last night. Well, yes, that’s accurate. But the use of the phrase in the TV ad isn’t meant to mean “road tax” is dead but that there’s a vehicle that doesn’t have to pay it. Interestingly, Mitsubishi UK have revealed in a Facebook conversation that they sought official views on the use of the offensive and inaccurate term “road tax”. The company checked with trhe legal advisory team at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the copy advice team at the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), and Clearcast (the body responsible for clearing copy before a commercial can be aired on TV).

“Their collective view is that the phrase ‘Road Tax’ is a more commonly used phrase than ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’ and would therefore be better understood by the widest audience. As a consequence this advice has been followed in the development of the advertising copy for the launch of the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV,” said Shona of Mitsubishi.

However, ASA is a serial offender here, always refusing to tackle advertisers on this subject. Thing is, “car tax” is also a widely used and understood phrase. Why don’t car advertisers switch to that? That’s the term used by many official bodies. “Vehicle tax” is also used. DVLA, the Post Office, the AA, and many other organisations get the terminology right, why do car manufacturers find this so difficult? Small print on the Mitsubishi website mentions the “Government road fund licence”. Like “road tax”, this was abolished in 1937.

  • David Belcher

    Funnily enough the offending ad recently popped up on YouTube – I was going to contact this site about it but it seems Mitsubishi was already firmly on the radar. Just how stupid does their ad agency think the UK public is? As you say, there are alternatives to the inaccurate “Road Tax” term in common use – my Dad is a driver with about 45 years of vehicle ownership behind him, and I can’t recall him ever calling it anything apart from “car tax”!

  • mony
  • Bob

    f VED is indeed a ‘pollution tax’ then why can you legally own a
    vehicle, declare it ‘off road’ run it around a track and not pay the
    duty? This is a tax for motorised vehicles to use the road network pure
    and simple!

  • Bob

    Far too many cyclists don’t know how to use the road properly. They’re
    constantly skipping red lights, crossing zebra crossings when
    pedestrians are using them and pulling out of junctions and roundabouts
    in front of cars. And then there’s the cyclists who cycle at night in
    dark clothes with no lights or reflectors on who then get annoyed when
    you nearly hit them despite the fact that its their fault they were
    nearly hit. Until cyclists have to take a test to ride on the road, get a
    registered bike and be required to have insurance then I won’t have any
    sympathy for them.

  • Mus

    Couldn’t agree with you more… only today a cyclist was on my left hand side at the traffic lights. When the lights went green he moved with me (forward) and then without signalling crossed in front of me and went right. I was furious but kept my cool as some other driver will eventually get this guy who obviously hadn’t a clue about road safety for himself or others. ALL cyclists (young and old) need to have basic highway code training especially at junctions, roundabouts etc…

  • jonboy

    Funny you didn’t mention thousands of drivers that don’t indicate, jump red lights, crossing zebra crossings when pedestrians are on them and pulling out blah blah. Are you jealous that, as a car user, you’d kill someone doing that? Or are you too fat and lazy to cycle, don’t worry just get a bike and enjoy the benefits it bestows on you.

  • Bob

    Suck your mom, I’m a person of limited means you cunt.

  • jonboy

    Clearly you also have limited intelligence too with such a wonderful well constructed reply. When in doubt, resort to cheap insults.

  • Ciaranm

    Mitsubishi have deleted most of the linked conversation from Facebook.

  • sneha paul

    put the fee on the fuel tax ,the more you use the more you pay. a massive save
    on admin costs and so much fairer, those that use the roads more would then pay the appropriate costs
    legal services in thrissur

  • Ride2Wk

    “Their collective view is that the phrase ‘Road Tax’ is a more commonly used phrase than ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’ and would therefore be better understood by the widest audience.”
    There was just a spell checker mistake in their sentence above & cearly they were ahead of these “Post-truth” times of Brexit & Trump. What Mitsi really meant to say was “…better understood by the WILDEST audience.”

  • Matt Booth

    To be fair your reply was equally as shit.