A lack of agreed marketing standards for lower-emission and alternative-fuel vehicles has led to Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority ruling against Lexus, Volkswagen and CitroA?A??A?AA«n for making green claims in advertisement, The Financial Times reports.
Under an eight-year-old European Union directive carmakers are required to include information on vehicles’ fuel economy and CO2 emissions in showrooms and marketing literature including advertisements. But in practice, under national laws, many advertisements omit the information or include it as fine print.
Because of this, organizations are pushing for stricter regulation of carmakers’ messages and the language they use to market green. (Norway’s state-run advertising watchdog has issued guidelines to advertisers that says, ” “We ask that A?AA¢AA¢aAA¬A?AA¦ phrases such as environmentally friendly, green, clean, environmental car, natural or similar descriptions not be used in marketing cars.)
In response to fears that entire vehicle classes or brands will be stigmatized, there are signs that carmakers will band together to give clearer messages on their cars’ environmental impact, according to FT. In February the European Commission asked the industry to devise a pan-European code of advertising conduct. The UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has discussed the issue with the ASA.