Regulator overturns ban on Cycling Scotland 'no helmet' advert

The Advertising Standards Authority's ruling overturns an earlier decision after Cycling Scotland appealed the judgment that its advertisement undermined the Highway Code

The Cycling Scotland advert
The Cycling Scotland advert

The Advertising Standards Authority has overturned its previous decision to ban a Cycling Scotland road safety advert for being "socially irresponsible".

The ruling, published today after an independent review, says that five complaints about the charity’s See Cyclist, Think Horse advert that were originally upheld have now been rejected.

Cycling Scotland appealed after the advert was banned in January for undermining the Highway Code’s recommendation that cyclists wear helmets and showing a cyclist riding "too far" from the kerb.

The new adjudication acknowledged Cycling Scotland’s explanation of why the cyclist was positioned in the centre of the lane and that it is not a UK requirement for cyclists to wear helmets.

The updated adjudication says: "Because the ad depicted a range of real-life situations in which motorists may encounter cyclists on the road for the purposes of educating them about the risks to cyclists posed by poor driving behaviours, we concluded that the ad was not socially irresponsible and likely to condone or encourage behaviour prejudicial to health and safety."

Ian Aitken, chief executive of Cycling Scotland, said: "The ASA adjudication has led to a constructive debate on the correct amount of road space to give those who are cycling, as well as highlighting a suitable road position for those travelling by bike. We are pleased that the final adjudication has confirmed the advert gives the correct guidance to people driving and cycling."

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