Advertising watchdog will shine regulatory spotlight on environmental claims


The UK advertising watchdog must “shine the regulatory spotlight” on environmental claims made in advertisements after discovering that there is “significant room” for companies to make mistakes.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is to issue new guidelines setting out key principles to ensure that advertisements do not mislead the environment and are socially responsible when considering environmental issues.

The aim is to launch surveys on specific subjects, starting with energy, heating and transport, to analyze the green demands of companies with a view to setting stricter rules.

It will also commission research in the fall on consumer understanding of “carbon neutral” and “net zero” claims, as well as research on public perceptions of hybrid claims in the electric vehicle market.

The ASA said it recognizes that “as the scale of the challenge of avoiding catastrophic climate change becomes increasingly clear, advertising and, by extension, advertising regulation must play their part in achievement of agreed climate objectives ”.

He said, “Our review builds on decades of regulation that the ASA has already delivered on advertisements making environmental claims.

“It was carried out to ensure that our regulations remain effective in the context of a society increasingly concerned about the impact of human behavior on our planet.”

The ASA said it was “apparent that the problems encountered in making environmental claims can be complex.”

“Businesses can make mistakes and mislead when making environmental claims, which can harm consumers and the planet. “

ASA Director of Complaints and Investigations Miles Lockwood said: “The ASA will be shining the regulatory spotlight in the years to come on issues of social responsibility and deception with respect to environmental claims in companies. advertising.

“We know there has to be large-scale, systemic change for the UK to meet the government’s climate targets.

“The ASA is only a small part of this, but from our history of strictly regulating environmental claims to today’s announcement, we believe our work will continue to positively influence the fight against change. climate. “

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