Range Rover has come under fire for its latest ad. The commercial for the 2014 Range Rover Sport features the vehicle conquering some intense terrain on its way up Pike's Peak, which is part of the U.S.'s National Forest System (NFS). Unfortunately, that qualifies the area as federal land, and off-roading on these lands is prohibited.
Some viewers were concerned that this commercial would encourage drivers to disrupt federal land with off-road driving. This isn't the first time the NFS has been upset about how certain environmental activities were portrayed in a commercial, but it is one of the first involving Range Rover and an off-road vehicle.
"It clearly goes against the basic philosophy of ethical attitudes and proper driver behavior for using OHV's anywhere, let alone on NFS lands," wrote Jack Gregory, a retired Forest Service officer, according to The Washington Post.
Despite the controversy, Range Rover stands by the ad, claiming that the commercial is standard fare and was not intended to inspire illegal activity. The vehicle did not actually drive off-road on Pike's Peak for the filming of the ad, so there was no harm done to the environment.
"As is typical in much of advertising, there are scenes that are realistic but not meant to be taken literally, including both racing up the mountain, as well as driving off-road back down, though the vehicle is more than capable of both," Range Rover said in a statement, as quoted by the news source.
Although the pastime is allowed in certain government-controlled areas, it is banned in most, and any plans need to be carefully researched and approached before you get behind the wheel. Most drivers who make sure they are driving lawfully won't encounter any type of trouble in their adventures.