A Renault advertisement has been banned in the united kingdom by advertising watchdog The Advertising Standards Authority after the car manufacturer claimed it was cutting down CO2 emissions using French electricity statistics. The advertisement claimed the electric Renault Fluence Z.E. would reduce emissions by 90% compared with a diesel version.
However the ASA upheld a complaint that the French electricity generation mix emitted less CO2 than that produced in the united kingdom.
Renault had rejected the claim that its advertisement had been misleading.
The advertisement in the national press had stated that “the well-to-wheel efficiency of a Renault Fluence Z.E. will help reduce CO2 emissions by at least 90% compared to a current diesel model”.
Its fine print said the calculations were based on the “French average electric mix” – prompting a reader to complain to the ASA.
Renault insisted its figures were not misleading because it expected to sell considerably more vehicles in France than in the united kingdom.
It also stated there were numerous electricity providers in the UK which provided carbon-free or reduced-carbon tariffs, meaning consumers could purchase energy with CO2 emissions similar to the French average mix.
However the ASA decided that readers were unlikely to comprehend the difference between electricity generating mixes in France and the UK and how this would affect CO2 savings.
“Because the figure was not representative of CO2 savings typically available in the UK, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead,” the ASA said.