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Green Groups Get Wrist Slap Over Misleading Ads

airport_expansion_ad.jpgThe UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has told two environmental agencies, Airport Watch and enoughsenough, to alter an ad campaign after concluding it made unsubstantiated claims about the level of public opposition to airport expansion, The Houston Chronicle reports. EasyJet and a member of the public challenged the ad.

The scolding comes as activists, the UK government, and other groups square off over the expansion of London’s Heathrow airport.

Here’s the ad copy as stated in the ASA decision:

The ad was headed “60% SAY NO TO MORE AIRPORT EXPANSION SO WHY IS THIS GOVERNMENT FLYING IN THE FACE OF PUBLIC OPINION?”  The ad showed a picture of Gordon Brown and stated “An ICM poll this month shows 60% of the public want airport expansion to stop, because of its impact on climate change.  So why won’t this government listen? When people want to fly, there’s no shortage of choice.  If anything there’s too much already.  Why else would airlines be practically giving flights away?  Yet the government is encouraging the biggest expansion of airports the UK has ever seen.  What for? They tell us that aviation already accounts for 13% of UK CO2 emissions – 20% if you include return flights.  They ask us to take climate change seriously and save on energy and resources.  So why don’t they? Enough’s enough.  Tell Gordon to listen and stop wasting your carbon savings just to fly more planes we don’t want.  Send Gordon your copy of this ad at 10 Downing Street…”

The green groups were told not to repeat the claims “They tell us that aviation already accounts for 13% of UK CO2 emissions – 20% if you include return flights,” “60% say no to airport expansion” and “the government is encouraging the biggest expansion of airports the UK has ever seen” or any similar claims. The ads were deemed “misleading.”

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