February 25, 2024

Toyota Hilux ads banned in the UK | Car engine and sports

The shot may have backfired: British advertising regulator the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned a short-form commercial and a related print advertising spot. The ad for the Toyota Hilux pick-up truck was created “without a sense of responsibility towards society”, but it is a three-year-old video, and thanks to the ban, a lot of people are now interested in it. We weren’t interested in it before and the old spot is currently seeing a sharp increase in traffic on social media.

A lawsuit against non-governmental organizations

In the half-minute film, a “pack” of Toyota Hiluxes drive through the countryside like a herd of buffalo before finally dispersing in the city and returning to their owners. The spot is titled “Born to roam,” which can be better translated as “Born to roam.” For British NGO Adfree Cities, the old spot was a reason to file a lawsuit with the ASA. The NGO Adfree Cities is committed to banning the advertising of products with a “high CO2” content.

© Toyota

Toyota Tacoma premiere (2024).
This is the new Tacoma – and also the new Hilux?

“These ads exemplify Toyota’s complete disregard for nature and climate by depicting massive, highly polluting vehicles driving at high speeds across rivers and wild grasslands,” said Veronica Wignall, associate director at Adfree Cities. In addition to advertising for SUVs, Wignall also wants to ban advertising for flights, meat and milk products and is also calling for a tobacco ban in Great Britain.

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Toyota defends the old advertising campaign by saying that this car is by no means an SUV for city dwellers, but rather for people who have a real need for an off-road vehicle, for example in agriculture and forestry. Hilux is designed for the harshest environments. A British Toyota spokesman also told The Guardian that the scene was filmed on private land abroad, in a location outside the United Kingdom, with permission and “in an environmentally insensitive environment.”

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In New Zealand or Australia, where the Toyota Hilux has a cult status as an indestructible workhorse, people are more likely to laugh at British sensibilities: Hilux commercials from this region are certainly funnier and indeed not always politically correct. But in a completely neutral way, we show you the latest Hilux update for Europe in the photo gallery.


A UK NGO has taken legal action against a three-year-old Toyota commercial for the Hilux. The British advertising regulator has now banned this ad. But this has the opposite effect: the number of visits to the old advertising film on social media is currently increasing sharply.

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