People responding to a classified ad for a powerful car offered at a bargain price heard how the ‘owner’ had crashed and killed a child, rather than the expected details about the car itself.
The ad was part of a campaign by Mayo County Council in Ireland designed to highlight the dangers of careless driving. The campaign was supported by the DoneDeal website, where the ad for a Subaru WRX Impreza appeared.
5,292 potential buyers viewed the ad and hundreds rang the contact number, to be greeted by the ‘seller’ John – an actor who delivered the following message: "John here. Sorry I can’t answer the call. If you’re calling about the car, yes I still have if for sale. I have it about six months. It’s quick, so quick I didn’t even see her. By the time I did, it was too late. She was only six years old for God’s sake. Make me an offer and take it away. I can’t stand looking at it anymore…just don’t drive it like I did.”
The message ended: “Brought to you by Mayo County Council as part of a road safety campaign.”
On the final day of the campaign the ad included a message from Mayo’s road safety team explaining that it was part of a safety campaign.
Noel Gibbons, Mayo’s road safety officer, said: "If it makes one person think twice about speeding, if it makes one person think twice about doing doughnuts or one person driving while using a handheld mobile phone and saves a life, then it’s a good thing.
“We hope the underlying message got through to these listeners, many of whom would talk to their friends about this advert.”
Agnes Swaby, marketing manager at DoneDeal, said: “We are delighted to be able to support this important awareness campaign led by Mayo County Council.
“By using the DoneDeal site to directly communicate to thousands of young drivers, Mayo County Council has taken a very innovative and engaging approach to driving its road safety message home.”