ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

A content analysis of Australian motor vehicle advertising: Effects of the 2002 voluntary code on restricting the use of unsafe driving themes

Schonfeld, Cynthia, Steinhardt, Dale, Sheehan, Mary (Peer reviewed)



The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) introduced its ?Advertising for Motor Vehicles Voluntary Code of Practice? in August 2002 for newly produced advertisements, expanding its scope in December 2002 to apply to all Australian motor vehicle advertisements. The code has since been revised in July 2004 as a result of stakeholder feedback. The current project, coordinated by CARRS-Q, funded by Queensland Transport and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the Australian code and its subsequent revision in regulating the content of motor vehicle advertising in this country. A random sample of 380 Australian motor vehicle manufacturer advertisements from 1999-2004 was selected for the study to enable a comparison of content before and after the introduction of the voluntary code and its revision.  The content analysis utilised an extensive list of major and minor themes described in an earlier study by Ferguson et al (2003) and built on using additional themes identified in the Australian code and similar overseas advertising codes active in New Zealand, Europe and the United Kingdom. The results will be used to inform a review of the FCAI code.