24 Sep 2008 05:09:26
Lexus misled public with green claims advert
A car advert which misled consumers to believe that its Hybrid SUV vehicle caused little damage to the environment and had lower carbon emissions than all other cars has been banned.
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) upheld complaints against a Lexus print advertising campaign which it claimed was misleading.
Lexus' advert for the hybrid RX400 included the text "The RX400. Perfect for today's climate. (And tomorrows)" and claimed that "driving the world's first luxury SUV makes environmental and economic, sense".
After Lexus received the complaints, it modified the advert so it suggested the car was perfect for "today's economic climate" and dropped claims about driving making environmental sense.
The ASA welcomed the changes and banned the original form of the ad from appearing.
It also warned the car maker not to create ads that implied its vehicle caused little or no harm to the environment or to suggest it had lower carbon emissions than all other cars.
The ASA has increasingly been taking action on 'greenwashing' complaints with the number of complaints regarding green claims received in 2007 representing a fourfold rise on 2006.