An idiotic judgement by the Advertising Standards Authority


 You were are not supposed to see this picture

UPDATE 25th June 2014:

The ASA has now changed it’s mind on this matter . Hopefully partly as a result of the information contained in the protests to it from organisations and individuals like ours. (See also our next post)

A piece of idiocy by the ASA has caused justified anger among cycling groups and others concerned with a civilised approach to danger on the road.


You can read about it here here here  and also here the CTC’s comments are here:

 The RDRF objects to the ASA’s decision on the basis that:


1. It does not understand that the positioning of the cyclist is absolutely correct in terms of the advice given by Bikeability (National Standards) cycle training. RDRF committee member Ken Spence points out:

As an author of most of the Bikeability curriculum I can say that the cyclist in question is not cycling in the “middle” of the lane. She’s actually exactly where I would tell her to be in the circumstances. The road itself is an extremely wide single carriageway and the fact that the car can overtake her at a wide berth without crossing the central markings proves my point about her position. To be pedantic the middle of the lane in question would be considerably further out. She’s actually more in a secondary position given that there is a half metre drainage strip at the edge of the carriageway moving the effective running carriageway edge a half metre out. The ASA are quite wrong  in their adjudication. A minimum of 0.5 metre does not mean exactly 0.5 metres.

 Also, take a look at this elaboration of the photo by Singletrack:Singletrack


2. Although the Highway Code at present recommends helmet wearing, there is a lack of evidence that this can reduce cyclist casualty (even cyclist head injury) rates. See the evidence on


3. If the ASA is going to oppose representation of anybody who is not apparently obeying all the recommendations of the Highway Code, it would have to ban advertisements featuring such behaviours as pedestrians walking about at night without hi-viz clothing.


4. Of course, the ASA could take note of the fact that typical driving tends to involve not just infringing Highway Code recommendations but the law, for example on breaking speed limits. The fact that this behaviour may not be explicit or even visible (as with driving when fatigued) does not excuse condoning such behaviour.


Taking this seriously would involve not just restricting a large proportion of all car advertisements, but representations of typical motor traffic in any advertising. Take a look at (and contribute to) the CTC’s initiative here


We are not suggesting that most advertisements featuring examples of typical driver behaviour which may, or are likely, to be infringing the rules and recommendations of the Highway Code should be banned –  too many would have to be restricted. But that would be more fruitful than focussing on supposedly rule or recommendation breaking behaviour by those much less likely to endanger others – even if the recommendation was based on sound evidence, which helmet wearing is not.




Organisations such as the CTC are writing to the ASA, you may wish to sign this petition  on    as well as contacting the ASA directly trough their complaints arbiter Sir Hayden Phillips whose receiving e-mail is . Also try
 Matt Wilson. 



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