The Advertising Standard Authority (ASA), the UK’s advertising watchdog, has banned a Finnair ad claiming that it is eco-smart for travelers to use the Finnish airline, reports Electric News. ASA also recommends that airlines choose their ad words carefully when promoting their green credentials, according to the article.
After receiving two complaints, ASA banned the Finnair poster that features an image of an Airbus flying over the Finnish coastline that states “Be eco-smart. Choose Finnair’s brand new fleet.”
Complainants challenged whether the claim “Be eco-smart” misleadingly implied that flying was environmentally friendly, and whether the advertiser could substantiate that the new fleet was “eco-smart” in comparison with older planes, says ASA.
Finnair said it did not intend to claim that flying was “environmentally friendly” but that it was “eco-smart” to choose its airline because it took environmental concerns into consideration, according to ASA.
The airline company also said that Finnair offers a greener alternative than other airlines because its long haul routes to Asia via Helsinki are more direct, allowing its aircrafts to fly with less fuel, reports Electric News.
Finnair also noted that its aircrafts have an average age of not more than five years, making its fleet one of the most fuel-efficient in operation, reports Electric News.
ASA ruled that while the Finnish airline did not intend to say that flying is a green mode of transportation, ad readers were likely to interpret the word “eco-smart” as a claim analogous to eco-friendly, reports Electric News. The watchdog group also disagreed with Finnair’s other claim that a long haul flight is more fuel efficient than taking two short haul flights, according to the article.
Last year, Finnair released a carbon calculator tool to help employees calculate their own personal carbon footprint, as more companies tabulate the environmental impact of their business travel.