Government climate change ads banned for overstating risks

A Government advertising campaign that uses nursery rhymes to warn of the dangers of climate change is understood to have been banned for exaggerating the damage.

Act on C02 TV campaign
Act on C02 TV campaign

The campaign, created by AMV. BBDO for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), has been censured after the Advertising Standards Authority received almost 1000 complaints from people that questioned the veracity of its green claims.

The watchdog is believed to have banned two press advertisements after ruling that they could not substantiated by hard evidence. It is not known whether the television and cinema ads used in the campaign have been banned but the ASA is said to have referred the TV ad to Ofcom for potentially breaching political advertising rules.

One ad shows three men in a bathtub over a flooded landscape and includes the text: “Climate change is happening. Temperature and sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heat waves will become more frequent and intense. If we carry on at this rate, life in 25 years could be very different.”

Another depicted two children, Jack and Jill, looking into a dry stone well and included the line: “Extreme weather conditions such as flooding, heat waves and qastorms will become more frequent and intense.”

The ASA is understood to have ruled that it is not scientifically possible to make such definitive statements on climate change.

Other complaints that the advertisements misled as they presented human-induced climate change as fact, are said to have been rejected.

A spokesman for the ASA declined to comment on the reports. The ruling will be published on Wednesday (17 March).

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