02 September 2011

A Response from MAC

bike carries car
One of our readers, Tom from Cycle Action Waiheke - part of the Cycle Advocates Network in New Zealand, wrote to the South Australia Motor Accident Commission about their Lose Your Licence and You're Screwed campaign.

Tom made them aware that the campaign had a negative image of cycling (yes, that's an understatement) and sent all the wrong signals.

Here is the response from the Motor Accident Commission. It's always interesting to see how people try to justify car-centric/anti-urban cycling campaigns.

Subject: RE: Lose Your Licence and You're Screwed Campaign
Date: 2 September2011 08:35

Thanks for your response.

As I mentioned in my email, the recent campaign is designed to impress upon young people the importance of their drivers licence and the potential consequences of not having one. It is not campaign designed to support cycling and cyclists.

We are attempting to encourage young drivers to make smart decisions when they’re on the road. The campaign scenarios are meant to be humorous not denigrating.

MAC campaigns play a key role in working towards influencing road user attitudes and behaviours. It is unfortunate that you carry a negative interpretation and do not see the campaigns sole objective.

We do carry-out extensive research on all our campaigns.

I believe information on how to make an Advertising Complaints can be found here: http://www.adstandards.com.au

We respect your opinion and value your feedback. Further discussion will need to be done over the phone. I don't believe the constant debate over email is sensible or efficient.

Kind regards,

Xxxxx Xxx
Corporate Communications Manager

Motor Accident Commission
Level 2, 121 King William Street, Adelaide
GPO Box 2438, Adelaide SA 5001
T 08 8221 6377 F 08 8221 6251


And here is the previous repsonse from the same person at MAC:

Thanks for your recent email.

Young drivers are one of the most vulnerable road users in our community. Many are killed and seriously injured on our roads every year. The reduction of road trauma lies at the heart of what we are trying to achieve.

The Young Drivers Campaign is designed to impress upon young people the importance of their drivers licence and the potential consequences of not having one.

Research that was carried out with the target market revealed that a drivers licence was an integral part of a young persons social and working life and to lose the right to drive through inappropriate behaviour on the roads would have flow on effects.

We have depicted these insights in a number of different scenarios. Obviously these scenarios are meant to be humorous. They are exaggerated scenarios designed to 'cut-through' to a difficult to reach audience. They are not designed to denigrate any alternative forms of transport.

Research carried out by the Centre for Automotive Safety Research reveals that humour is a persuasive approach when it comes to social marketing, especially where the message is aimed at young males. With young people having a crash rate twice that of the average driver, MAC is keen to do whatever we can to get a road safety message through to this hard to reach audience.

We appreciate and thank you again for expressing your views. We hope that you can appreciate MAC's position and what we are attempting to achieve.

Regards,

Xxxxx Xxx
Corporate Communications Manager

Motor Accident Commission
Level 2, 121 King William Street, Adelaide
GPO Box 2438, Adelaide SA 5001
T 08 8221 6377 F 08 8221 6251