Monday, December 7, 2009

Lexus RX 400h Ad Banned For Misleading Low-Emissions Implications!

Our friendly British advertising watchdog has done it again by banning a Lexus magazine advert for the RX 400h on the grounds of false claims! For those of you with a hefty memory, the British Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) had banned Ford’s "Focus Zetec Climate" TV ad last year due to complaints from two viewers who said that it was misleading.

The magazine ad for the Lexus RX 400h was headlined "HIGH PERFORMANCE. LOW EMISSIONS. ZERO GUILT". Following the picture of the SUV, there was a text stating "RX 400h. The world's first high performance hybrid SUV ... category-leading low CO2 emissions. A combination without equal. Or compromise". In the small print, Lexus stated that the RX 400h’s carbon dioxide emissions figure was 192g/km CO2. -Continued: Click “Read More…” below

ASA received 10 complainants stating that Lexus’ advert was misleading as it falsely implied that the SUV caused little or no harm to the environment. Lexus argued that the CO2 emissions of the RX 400h were very low compared to those of core competitors within its category and that the prominence of the illustration of the vehicle in the ad clarified the type of car the headline claims referred to and also the class of vehicle to which they applied.

The British advertising watchdog wasn’t convinced. In their release, they scold Lexus not to imply in future that a car caused little or no harm to the environment and had low CO2 emissions in comparison with all cars if that was not the case. Ouch…

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