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Banned ad to be auctioned

It's a piece of automotive art created by the luxury carmaker, BMW, for a television commercial that was outlawed because it promoted irresponsible driving.

The colourful canvas will be auctioned next month at a gala Melbourne event for the Make Breast Cancer History organisation. The carmaker's painting is one of more than 20 unusual items to be auctioned to raise funds for breast cancer research. Both event organisers and BMW believe the piece - which measures 2.5m by 1.2m - will attract strong bids.

Make Breast Cancer History spokesperson, Rachel West, said it was priceless. "Considering its history, it is unique so we hope it will fetch a good price," she said. Apart from the BMW painting the charity will flog off a Kokoda Track walk in PNG, a private cocktail party for 30 and a year's supply of meat, fruit and vegetables. "It is a charity auction with a twist," West said.

The BMW ad featured a Z4 coupe creating the giant artwork in a warehouse by driving with painted tyres. The work is now a part of BMW's Art Car Collection. Company spokesman, Toni Andreevski, said the German carmaker did not normally donate pieces from its collection. "It's certainly unusual but it's for a good cause," he said. "Rather than leave it in storage, we thought we would donate it." Andreevski welcomed the opportunity to turn the negative publicity surrounding the ad, into a positive.

The ad was outlawed by the Advertising Standards Bureau in June because the stunts shown in the clip broke Australian road rules. The bureau found that the ‘artistic’ ad encouraged hoon driving because it showed the car spinning its wheels and skidding.

The clip was used around the world but Australia was the only country to ban it. BMW commissioned South African artist Robin Rhode and famous film director Ridley Scott's son, Jake, to make the huge football-field size canvas.

The company also has works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella and Ken Done.

The charity auction aims to raise $100,000 and will be held on Saturday, October 10.