Renault ad banned by watchdog

* Advert for Renault Fluence ZE * French figures used * Advert banned from reappearing...

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What Car? Staff
5 May 2010 9:4 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

A Renault advert has been banned in the UK after the car maker used French electricity figures to claim it was reducing CO2 emissions.

France vs UK
The advert promoting the all-electric Renault Fluence ZE claimed the car would cut emissions by 90% compared with a diesel model.

However, the Advertising Standards Agency upheld a complaint that the French electricity generation mix on which the claim was based emitted less CO2 than power generated in the UK.

Renault's advert claimed that 'the well-to-wheel efficiency of a Renault Fluence ZE will help reduce CO2 emissions by at least 90% compared with a current diesel model'.

Not misleading Renault
Renault has claimed that the figures are not misleading on the grounds that it expected to sell more cars in France than in the UK.

The manufacturer also argued that several UK electricity providers offered carbon-free or reduced-carbon tariffs, which would mean that British customers could buy power with similar CO2 emissions to those of the French average mix.

Confusing figures
The ASA ruled against Renault, because readers were unlikely to understand the difference between the two country's electricity generating mixes and its effect on emissions.

The ASA said: 'Because the figure was not representative of CO2 savings typically available in the UK, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead.'

The advert has been banned from reappearing in its current form.