2021 Toyota Yaris Ad Gets Banned In Australia For Absurd Reason

As Elvis Costello once said, “What’s so funny bout peace, love, and drifting?” Well, His verison was slightly different, but that’s beside the point. The point is, giving your car a little sumpthin, sumpthin in the corners, ain’t so bad, is it? Well, as drifting becomes more and more popular in the automotive world, Toyota’s Australian marketing department got slapped and had its 2021 Toyota Yaris ad pulled off the air. 

The 2021 Toyota Yaris is too dangerous for polite society

Motor1 reports that local Australian advertising officials deemed the new Yaris commercial “too dangerous” to air on TV. I know what you’re all thinking, “What could be so bad in a Toyota Yaris commercial to pull the ad?” The answer will make American readers laugh like the bad kid who regularly skips class getting busted for being late. 

The commercial shows two sisters and their brother, all with different model Yarises being late to visit their grandparents. As the two sisters shame the brother for always being late, he peels out of his garage and catches a little sideways action in his hot hatch GR Yaris. Although the brother leaves after them, his hot-shoe driving gets him there faster.

Rules are rules

Australian officials say the commercial is dangerous because it promotes reckless driving. While this feels a tad silly to me, but there are rules about these kinds of things. According to Motor1, the commercial does, in fact, break two rules of the Federal Chamber for Automotive Industries Motor Vehicle Advertising Code: breaking the speed limit and unsafe driving.

A red 2021 Toyota GR Yaris slides on a track
2021 Toyota GR Yaris | Toyota

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Toyota has pulled the ad with no way to make it appropriate for Australian TV as of now. Toyota says it does “take the complainant’s opinion very seriously,” but also disagrees with the ruling. Toyota is digging its heels in and arguing that the ad doesn’t show any driving laws being broken and did not violate the Federal Chamber for Automotive Industries Motor Vehicle Advertising Code. 

The 2021 Toyota GR Yaris is a sports car, after all

Even though the authorities admit the ad doesn’t explicitly promote speeding, the GR Yaris catching some oversteer does violate the “unsafe driving” statute. Come to think of it; I can’t recall many good sports car ads that don’t show someone giving the car a bit of the beans. In America, things like that are not as strictly regulated, I guess. 

The 2021 GR Yaris is a proper hot hatch that warrants doing proper hot hatch stuff. We aren’t talking about the normal Yaris, a boring little city hatch. No. The GR Yaris came about for the WRC and a replacement for the formidable Celica GT-Four from rallies past. 

The GR Yaris is the world’s most powerful three-cylinder car. That might sound like saying “smells better than a dumpster,” but before you write it off, dig these specs. 

The GR Yaris is pretty much perfect for what it is. It’s small, has a manual gearbox and all-wheel drive, and, yes, it has plenty of power, 257 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, to be exact. That power comes from a cute little 1.6-liter screamer of a three-cylinder. Even with its AWD system with two limited-slip diffs, it still only weighs 2,822 pounds. The GR Yaris will run a 0-6-mph sprint in under 5.5 seconds and tops out at 143 mph. 

With all that in mind, how can you blame Toyota for wanting to show off a little in the commercial? Australia, if you’re reading, we have a saying here in the southern united states, “let the boys play.” Think about it.