Car industry moves to clarify eco messaging

The automotive and advertising industries have teamed up to help marketers better communicate the benefits of greener vehicles.

Advertising body ISBA, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have today (28 November) launched a revised version of the automotive industry’s best practice code for environmental marketing.

The guidelines are being updated to help automotive brands give consumers clear and transparent information relating to environmental claims in advertising.

The revised code aims to “provide a framework and reference point” for automotive companies to develop environmental messages.
It now includes advice on using social networking sites and digital media platforms to communicate green messages as well as advice on vehicle comparisons.

The move follows a number of reports that revealed that car brands must improve marketing to grow the eco-car market because consumers remain confused about the benefits of electric and hybrid cars.

A separate study by Specific Media found that consumers are “cynical and wary” of green messages in car advertising, because they are not clear.

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) were also involved in revising the code.

Greg Archer, managing director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership adds: “Consumers need to believe in marketing messages if they are to accept and adopt lower carbon options. With the increasing number of media channels through which we communicate it is vitally important that these principles adapt to remain relevant in order to continue to give car buyers confidence that the environmental benefits they see described are real.”

Ian Twinn, director of public affairs for ISBA, adds: “Advertisers welcome good advice that helps consumers see the benefits of environmental advances and helps business market vehicles in a sustainable and responsible way.

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