Ad watchdog raps easyJet over carbon claims


In the UK, the Advertising Standards Authority's crackdown on misleading green ads has claimed another victim after easyJet was ordered to change an advert which claims that it emits 22 per cent less carbon dioxide than traditional rivals.

A national press advert for the budget airline entitled - 'Demand a more intelligent approach to aviation' - had advised customers to - 'choose airlines with new aircraft, higher passenger loads, fewer emissions' - adding that - 'easyJet emits 22% less CO2'.

The figure was qualified by small print explaining that the claim was based on 'a comparison between an easyJet aircraft and a traditional airline flying the same aircraft type on the same route'. However, the ASA upheld a reader complaint that the claim was misleading on the grounds that the lower emissions applied not to the flight itself, but to carbon emissions per passenger.

It ruled that - "because the basis for the claim had not been fully explained, the ad misleadingly implied that easyJet planes were more environmentally efficient than the aircraft used by traditional airlines, whereas we understood that the claim 'easyJet emits 22% less CO2' referred to emissions per passenger km and was based primarily on the fact that they could carry more passengers per plane than traditional airlines".