EDF green ad avoids ASA censure

An EDF advertisement for its Green Britain Day initiative that attracted almost 150 complaints has been cleared by the advertising watchdog.

The television, press and poster campaign, which ran up to July, became one of the most complained about this year after 149 people contacted the Advertising Standards Authority to say it was misleading.

The adverts featured a Union flag made up of different shades of green fabric, rather than the usual red, white and blue. The text and voiceover said that EDF was a sustainability partner of the 2012 Olympics in London and was launching a “Green Britain Day” to help fight climate change.

Complainants to the ASA argued that because EDF was a French-owned energy company that used non-renewable energy sources it could not claim to be either British or green.

EDF told the ASA that it had taken a lead role in tackling the social and environmental problems it faces as an energy supplier and that it hadbecome the first company in the UK to be named as a sustainability partner for London 2012.

It also pointed out that the ads promoted awareness of Green Britain Day and did not make claims about the EDF brand. EDF acknowledged that its parent company is based in France, but said the UK division is based and registered in this country.

The ASA ruled that the ads did not claim that EDF itself was a “green” company or even British, and therefore were not misleading.

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