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European Car Ads Turn To Green Metaphors

The new emphasis on alternative energy and low carbon-dioxide emissions in car ads for Europe’s premium brands reflects the pressure car makers feel from environmental groups and European Union regulators to tone down their emphasis on power and speed or at least reconcile those traits with the theme of environmental stewardship, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In Sweden, General Motors Corp.’s Saab unit is running print ads for its bioethanol-powered 9-5 station wagon that touts horsepower and alternative fuels. “With power comes responsibility,” read the ads.

In Germany, rival Audi AG boasts about the “progressive performance” of its cars, noting their use of lightweight materials and more efficient engines to boost fuel economy.

DaimlerChrysler AG is running print ads for Mercedes-Benz sedans that hail its tiny smart for two city car as the industry’s “CO2 champion.”

BMW AG has added a new motto, efficient dynamics, and has been running a TV spot in Germany that shows a  wind-powered sculpture.

Manfred Braunl, head of marketing in Germany for BMW, says that rather than try to impress TV viewers with ads about new fuel-saving technologies BMW is experimenting with “metaphorical” ads that aim to put viewers in a positive mood about the company and its approach to reducing fuel consumption.

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