A week in America has convinced me once again that a lot of British telly advertising is so inventive and witty compared to the rather more simplistic hard sells you get across the pond. Even so, why are car ads so depressingly dull compared even to those pushing cat food?

We all know the weary tropes: attractive couple driving car around Mediterranean, implausibly young parents driving around with photogenic kids or, the worse one of all, car being driving at moderate pace round laughably empty road. 

See Autocar's pick of the best car ads

What you never see is quick car being driven to its full potential on the type of roads that we all recognise. And for that  you mainly have to thank the vice-like policing of the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) who ban any hint of the association with, or glorification of speed. Many have fallen foul of its rulings too.