HOLDEN is coming under fire online with complaints levelled at its Malibu advertising campaign.

Advertising for the new mid-size car started in earnest this week but has been accused of encouraging dangerous driving.

Richard Power said there subliminal  direct messages to "drive close to the rear of a cyclist and cause a collision; fail to stop following the collision; drive fast relative to the conditions of a narrow street crowded with pedestrians and vulnerable users; hide from police following the incident."

Holden has answered the concerns in a similar fashion: "While we recognise the concerns from some people to our ad, we believe that most viewers will understand that the situation has been created as a fantasy.

"The cyclist takes a tumble because he is mesmerised by the Malibu's standout looks in an otherwise sea of beige.

"Holden takes its approach to road safety very seriously and is proud to have supported the cycling community for many years, including our sponsorship of the Holden Women's Cycling Team."