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ASA uphelds complaint against Etihad Airways

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Key facts:

The ASA upheld a complaint against Etihad Airways for a Google ad in July 2023, where claims of “Total Peace Of Mind” and “Environmental Advocacy” were deemed misleading. The ASA took the view that the ads would be understood by consumers to mean that Etihad actively worked to protect the environment and, consequently, consumers could use their services with total peace of mind with regard to the environmental impact of travelling with Etihad.

The ASA considered that Etihad had breached rule 3.1 (misleading advertising) and rules 11.1 and 11.3 (environmental claims) of the CAP Code and insisted on the need for a high level of substantiation for any absolute environmental claims. The ASA noted the absence of initiatives or commercially viable technologies currently available to the aviation industry to back such absolute claims.

The ASA detected Etihad’s ads through its “Active Ad Monitoring System” that uses artificial intelligence to search for online ads that might break the rules. Etihad Airways was directed not to use the ad again and was reminded of the importance of ensuring future ads accurately reflect its environmental impact, supported by strong evidence to comply with advertising standards.

Source(s):

ASA ruling

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