Shock victory for car ad safety warning architect

Chris%20Davies%20Liberal%20Democrat%20MEP%20The man behind proposals to introduce tobacco-style safety warnings on car ads has admitted that even he was surprised at the level of support his plans received from the European Parliament (EP) last week.

The EP voted in favour of a report by Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies that calls for 20% of advertising space in car ads to be devoted to information on carbon dioxide (CO2) emission levels.

The recommendations received the support of the EP’s Environment Committee (MW September 20) but the advertising and motoring industries had been expecting the full parliament to either reject or at least scale back the proposals.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Davies says: “I thought the 20% figure would be reduced significantly but the report went through almost unchanged.”

Last week’s vote was non-binding but it is significant because final legislation will have to be approved by the EP. The European Commission, which has said it will take its lead from the outcome of the vote, will make its final proposals in December. They will then have to be supported by the EP and national governments.

Davies says that the car industry only has itself to blame after breaking its promises on the environment. “We need to start taking steps towards a zero carbon economy,” he adds.

“It’s not acceptable for people to wash their hands of it and that includes drivers and car manufacturers. It might have been acceptable if the industry had stuck to its word and taken clear and demonstrable steps towards reducing emissions but it has failed to do that.”

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