Some Car Ads

On certain car ads, usually those for sports cars or SUV’s, that show someone driving like a maniac down a wet road or up the side of a hill there’s always the disclaimer “Professional Driver, Closed Course” or some such nonsense printed on the screen. Is there some legal reason they have to do this? Or is this really just a “kids, don’t try this at home” statement to cover their butts if someone drives the way they show in the ads… gets killed and then sues the company?

That’s it exactly. It’s a liability thing. If someone sues them, they can plainly show that it’s a commercial and not supposed to be realistc.

And well they should have a disclaimer: often they’re driving on the left-hand side of the road, as would be done in Merry Olde Englande.

My favorite disclaimer in a car ad came in a spot for a Chevy Tracker (a tiny SUV.) A guy in a Tracker stops to help a man in a disabled, huge freight truck. As he’s hooking up a tow strap, the small print at the bottom of the screen says, “Can a Tracker tow a semi? Nah. Consult your owner’s manual.”