Car adverts to carry health warnings?

  • Advertising health warnings proposed
  • 20% of advertising space to be given over
  • Traffic-light system to show car's emissions
Car manufacturers could be forced to show on their advertisements how much their cars pollute
Car manufacturers could be forced to show on their advertisements how much their cars pollute
'Warning! Cars can seriously damage your health.' Well, this cigarette-packet-style warning might be a bit far-fetched, but if plans by the European Commission come to fruition, then car adverts could carry health warnings.

The European Commission has consulted vehicle manufacturers, advertisers and environmental campaigners about a proposal that 20% of the space on every car advertisement should be devoted to information about carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption.

The campaign for car health warnings is being led by British MEP Chris Davies, whose proposals were approved by the European Parliament in October last year. However, they need the support of the European Commission to become law.

He has also called for a fifth of advertising space to be used to describe the environmental impact of the vehicle featured.

The European Commission is believed to be considering a traffic-light system, where red dots or stars would mark out high-emission cars, and green ones low-pollution ones. An alternative could be an alphabetical system of A-G grades for pollution levels.

If approved, the measure would apply to every type of advert, whether in print, or on radio, internet or television.

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