ASA U-turn on controversial cycle safety ad

Regulator to review decision over See Cyclist. Think Horse ad

The ASA has rescinded a decision to ban the See Cyclist. Think Horse ad, pending further review

A day after a the Advertising Standards Authority banned a controversial cycle safety TV ad because it featured a non-helmet wearing cyclist riding more than 50cm from the kerb has admitted there was a ‘potential flaw’ in its reasoning and withdrawn its ruling.


Yesterday the ASA announced it had banned Cycling Scotland‘s See Cyclist. Think Horse ad on the grounds it condoned “behaviour prejudicial to health and safety”.

The ad, which aimed to encourage motorists to give riders the side room they would a horse rider, can be seen here.

The see cyclist. think horse ad

Video: Cycling Scotland’s See Cyclist. Think Horse ad

The ruling stirred outrage from cyclists and campaign groups, and an online petition to reverse the ban attracted more than 3,400 signatures in less than 24 hours.

However the ASA’s about-turn appears based on the cyclist’s position in the road and not that she wasn’t wearing a helmet.

A statement on the ASA website said: “The ASA has withdrawn its formal ruling against a Cycling Scotland ad pending the outcome of an independent review. That followed a request from Cycling Scotland, in which it argued that the ASA’s criticism of the positioning of the cyclist was incorrect.”

A revised decision will be published at a later date.


It is not mandatory to use a helmet and the shoot was overseen by an experienced cycling instructor. Five people complained to the ASA on safety grounds.