It warned: 'Safety as a marketing tool has slipped even further down the sales agenda since the foundation last carried out the same survey over 18 months ago. Then, 8% of print ads concentrated on car safety measures. Now only 3% do.'
The fall is despite the focus among brands including Fiat and Renault on their cars' safety performance in the European New Car Assessment Programme crash tests. The survey of 1,000 advertisements showed that finance was the main thrust of adverts, followed by gadgets and speed.