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Green BMW ad slammed as 'misleading'

The Local · 28 Jul 2010, 13:51

Published: 28 Jul 2010 13:51 GMT+02:00

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the press advertisement gave the impression that the car created no greenhouse emissions at all, when in fact its batteries had to be charged from the electricity grid, which generated carbon dioxide.

The ad for the BMW Concept ActiveE electric car used the headline, “100 percent joy, zero percent emissions.”

It went on to state that “the BMW Concept ActiveE is the first BMW to be powered purely by electricity … Thanks to its electrifying performance and zero CO2 emissions when driving, the ActiveE redefines BMW EfficientDynamics.”

The smaller-print qualification “when driving” wasn’t enough to satisfy the watchdog. In response to a complaint from a member of the public, it ruled that the headline was “likely to mislead.”

“The ad must not appear again in its current form,” the ASA ordered. “We told BMW not to repeat claims that stated or implied that an electric vehicle would produce zero emissions in use.”

Story continues below…

It is the second time in just a week that a BMW ad was banned in Britain. Last week, BMW was told to stop using an ad for its Z4 model that used the headline, “Joy makes the most of every drop.”

The ASA ruled that the ad implied the car had a low carbon output when in fact its emissions were only low by comparison with previous BMW models.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:02 July 28, 2010 by The-ex-pat
¦quot;The ad must not appear again in its current form,¦quot; the ASA ordered. ¦quot;We told BMW not to repeat claims that stated or implied that an electric vehicle would produce zero emissions in use.¦quot;

The question is, what the the definition of the word "use", are you using the car when it is being charged. The ad does say, zero emissions when being used. Most people except hard core save the gay whale types would surmise the use is when it is being driven. Seems like the ASA is another organisation that is taking every meaning to the extreme.
12:19 July 29, 2010 by michael4096

My wife uses the same logic: it didn't cost anything because I put it on the credit card!

Though, in this case the emissions have already been spent before you drive, it is still true that your driving costs emissions somewhen.

Of course, most people know this just as they know that "Free Lunch Today!" almost certainly isn't. The question is whether you should be allowed to claim things that are misleading in advertisments just because "most people know".
15:44 July 29, 2010 by chrishale53
Well good for the British ASA - at last a public organisation has pointed out the hypocritical bullshit that drives the electric car scam.

Would this EVER happen in Germany with your obsession with VW...BMW etc profits? After all, autos were Hitler's gift to post war Germany - like the insane speeds on autobhanen.

Emissions are JUST A FRACTION of the environmental cost of the car you buy - to begin with, ask what it's made of... how 'expensive' was its construction in ecological terms.

Cars are socially divisive, wasteful - and fundamentally stupid. One driver moving around a volume of air.

Electric cars are just a way of selling you a 'new car' - a process your profit hungry manufacturers desperately want you to do - at whatever cost.
12:19 July 30, 2010 by Prufrock2010
"Cars are socially divisive, wasteful - and fundamentally stupid. One driver moving around a volume of air."

So how do YOU get around?
14:49 July 30, 2010 by harrylatour
It may seem like a 'nitpicking' ruling by our Brit Advertising council,,but we all know what large companys are like,,you give them a mm and they take a Km!! After that I need a medal too,,a 70 year old Brit using metric,,,there is hope for us yet lads.
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