Activists say ad could encourage driving in ecologically sensitive areas and accuse ASA of bias

Environmental campaigners have accused the UK advertising watchdog of bias for overturning a draft ruling that banned adverts for a mud-splattered Land Rover Defender off-roader after previously saying it encouraged “socially irresponsible” driving that could “cause damage to vulnerable habitats”.

The national newspaper ad featured a Defender in a forest with the headline “Life is so much better without restrictions”. Text accompanying the ad said the 4×4 had the “capacity to go almost anywhere and do anything. If you take one for an extended test drive … a whole new world of freedom awaits”.

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