Peters & Peters

ASA considers Petronas advert


Key facts:

In June 2023, the ASA upheld a ruling against Petronas, in which an advert by Petronas was found to be in breach of the Broadcast Code as misleading.

The advert was televised in September 2022, with the voice of a child explaining:

“’Our story began with a dream, to see if we could take on an industry. It wasn’t easy, but slowly, good began to happen.’ Scenes of traffic moving, a port full of shipping containers, broken ice floating on the sea, litter in a river and a forest fire were shown… but as the world produced more energy it became nature’s problem, and we were part of it. An answer was needed so we started connecting the dots, to become a progressive energy and solutions partner, enriching lives for a sustainable future… To reduce emissions, grow renewable energy, bring education to more, champion social impact and promote a circular economy, as well as achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050… Let’s connect the dots together and create a more sustainable future for all so that our next generation will always have something to look forward to” and a child was shown looking out into the distance”.

The ASA acknowledged that the advert included Petronas’ role in the climate problem and the steps it was taking towards net zero and promoting sustainable energy. However, it also noted that, in 202, Petronas’ operations produced 45.2 million tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs).

While the ASA considered that viewers would recognise that companies in the oil industry were likely to be higher emitters of greenhouse gases, viewers may not be aware of the extent of Petronas’ continuing contribution to greenhouse gas emissions given the claims made in the advert.

The omission of material information in this regard was therefore held to be misleading.


ASA ruling

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