Norway Takes Stance on Car Advertising

>> Sunday, September 16, 2007

From Reuters:

No car can be "green," "clean" or "environmentally friendly," according to some of the world's strictest advertising guidelines set to enter into force in Norway next month.

"Cars cannot do anything good for the environment except less damage than others," Bente Oeverli, a senior official at the office of the state-run Consumer Ombudsman, told Reuters on Thursday.

Carmakers such as Toyota, General Motor's Opel, Mitsubishi, Peugeot Citroen, Saab and Suzuki had all used phrases this year in advertisements that the watchdog judged misleading, she said.

One Toyota advertisement for a Prius, for instance, described the gasoline-electric hybrid as "the world's most environmentally friendly car."

"If someone says their car is more 'green' or 'environmentally friendly' than others then they would have to be able to document it in every aspect from production, to emissions, to energy use, to recycling," she said.

"In practice that can't be done," she said of tougher guidelines entering into force in Norway from October 15.

The guidelines distributed to carmakers said: "We ask that ... phrases such as 'environmentally friendly', 'green', 'clean', 'environmental car', 'natural' or similar descriptions not be used in marketing cars."

Carmakers would risk fines if they failed to drop the words. Oeverli said she did not know of other countries going so far in cracking down on cars and the environment.

This is very true. The auto companies advertising claims are basically false claims that should not be allowed.


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