Holden ad contains 'Islamic State salute', according to complaint

A Holden TV advertisement contained several uses of an Islamic State salute, at least according to a complaint laid with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

In the ad, a man drives along a country road with his son. Every time he passes another motorist or a person on the side of the road, he lifts his index finger, and they respond in kind.

His son asks why, and he explains it's because Holden is offering a 1 percent finance offer.

But that's not the message complainant T Brewster got from the ad.

"The Islamic State militants... are now using a single, raised index finger as the symbol of their cause. It's a well-known sign of power and victory around the world, but for ISIS, it has a more sinister meaning," they wrote in the complaint.

"When [Islamic State] uses the gesture, it is affirming an ideology that demands the destruction of the West, as well as any form of pluralism. For potential recruits around the globe, it also shows their belief that they will dominate the world.

"I don't think that it's very appropriate for today's society."

The authorities didn't see it that way.

"The drivers in the advertisement raised their finger while their hands remained on the steering wheel, which was a very different gesture to that used by Islamic State militants," the ASA said in its ruling.

"It was an extreme interpretation of the gesture in the advertisement and was unlikely to be the general consumer take-out."

The ASA chair threw the complaint out, saying there was no grounds to proceed.