VW slammed by ASA over ‘low emissions’ claim

Volkswagen has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority for running a press ad for the Golf GT TSI which misleadingly implied that the car had ‘low emissions’.

Volkswagen has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for running a press ad for the Golf GT TSI which misleadingly implied that the car had “low emissions”.

Complainants pointed out that the car is actually in the fifth most-polluting band out of seven in terms of emissions.

Volkswagen defended the ad, created by DDB London, saying that the emissions claim should be read in conjunction with other text that read “high performance”, and that it was clear that it was being compared with other cars of similar power.

The ASA ruled, however, that readers were likely to understand that the claim “low emissions” meant the car had low emissions compared to all cars, which it did not. The comparison with vehicles delivering similar performance was not prominent or linked to the headline claim, which was therefore potentially misleading. Volkswagen was told not to run the ad again.

In another ruling, the ASA has taken the unusual step of ordering all UK newspapers to check with its Copy Advice Team before accepting any ads for low-cost airline Jet2.com. The last brand to be hit with such a ruling was French Connection, over its FCUK ads.

The ASA issued the alert after ruling that recent press ads for the airline brought advertising into disrepute by claiming flights were free when consumers actually had to pay taxes and other compulsory charges. The ASA was particularly angry that Jet2.com had been “blatantly ignoring previous instructions and reneging on their assurances,” the regulator says. The ASA and the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) have both previously told Jet2.com that the CAP Code requires them to include all non-optional taxes and charges in prices in ads, and the company had promised it would comply.


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