You may have heard in the news (In the Guardian, Business Green, Campaign, Brand Republic) that the ASA have recently decided not to uphold the 149 complaints against EDF and their Green Britain campaign.
The ASA said:
” ..we considered that consumers were unlikely to infer from the ads that EDF was a ‘green’ company, we concluded that the ads were unlikely to mislead.”
“..we considered that consumers were unlikely to infer that EDF Energy was a British company. We therefore concluded that the ads were unlikely to mislead.”
EDF had this to say:
“EDF Energy welcomes the decision by the Advertising Standards Authority regarding our Green Britain Day and Team Green Britain advertising, in which neither challenge has been upheld by the authority… We are committed to leading the energy change to bring about a low carbon future and we have led the way among energy companies in making long-term commitments to the environment and to sustainability… EDF Energy is the UK’s largest generator of low carbon electricity.”
Dale had this to say in response:
“To most people a green union jack represents something or someone Green and British. And to most people EDF are neither, being Nuclear and French. And however many sugar coated low carbon blandishments EDF comes out with the truth is in the numbers – they are the world’s biggest nuclear waste polluter, one of it’s biggest fossil fuel polluters and their contribution to new renewable capacity and to green issues in the UK is truly pitiful.
The ASA offer no evidence to back their judgement, which is actually just an opinion dressed up – and one that ignores the hundreds of people who wrote to it to complain the ad was misleading. It makes the ASA look rather ridiculous, but then again they are an advertising industry funded body, not an independent watchdog – should we expect any better?
The funny part is that the ASA have in effect said, in their opinion – ‘nobody in their right mind would believe that EDF are green or British’
OK I paraphrase just a little, or maybe I’m inferring?… 🙂
Either way if the ASA are right it’s actually a bitter sweet day for EDF – who’ve poured tens of millions into this – dodging the ASA bullet but at what cost to their ‘green credentials’ ?
How many windmills could they have built instead…