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Energy»Renault ad taken off air over misleading emissions claim

»Wednesday, March 31,2010

Advertising watchdog rules carmaker exaggerated the green credentials of its electric vehicles

Carmaker Renault has fallen foul of advertising regulations over claims that it has designed a range of zero emission electric vehicles.

A television advert featured a montage of cars and their impact on society with a voiceover saying: "For us, global warming goes beyond the emissions coming out of the exhaust. It's an issue we address before, during and after manufacture. From next year, Renault will launch a range of zero emission vehicles to drive the car forward again."

Several viewers challenged Renault's claim because they believed that using electricity to charge the vehicles would produce emissions.

They also said the ad was misleading because it did not take the full life-cycle of the cars into account.

Renault argued that the vehicles would not produce any emissions if powered by electricity from wind power or a renewable resource.

The company said the ad was intended to convey the message that there were no emissions from the electric cars when in use.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld the complaints, saying the ad gave the impression that the entire production, use and disposal of the vehicles would not produce any emissions or have a detrimental effect on the environment.

It added: "Because Renault was unable to substantiate that, when including the emissions from production to disposal the vehicle would not result in any emissions, we concluded the claim was likely to mislead."

The ASA ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.




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