BMW advert banned after ‘misleading’ clean claims

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a BMW advert for misleading claims about the zero emissions credentials of one of its cars. A paid-for Facebook post regarding the manufacturer’s […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a BMW advert for misleading claims about the zero emissions credentials of one of its cars.

A paid-for Facebook post regarding the manufacturer’s i3 model featured a customer testimonial, which stated: “Having driven petrol guzzling cars before, I realised that it is now time to switch to an electric car.

“With zero emissions, the i3 really is a clean car and helps to give back to the environment.”

The watchdog said this was inaccurate and believed consumers would interpret the ad to mean the i3 had zero emissions and was a clean energy car, which it suggested is not the case.

The car features an optional range extender in the form of a small petrol engine that doesn’t directly power the car like in hybrid vehicles but maintains the battery charge, allowing the car to continuously drive on pure electric.

The ASA said the addition of a petrol feature means the car could not be 100% clean.

It added: “Because cars which used petrol cannot be described as ‘zero emissions’ or as a ‘clean car’ and it was not clear from the ad that the claim was in relation to the electric battery model only, we concluded that the claims were misleading.”

ELN has contacted BMW for a statement.