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ASA upholds complaints that Nissan made misleading claims about its electric vehicles

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Key facts:

The ASA investigated complaints that two television adverts for the Nissan Qashqai car gave the misleading impression that the car was solely powered by electric power and did not need to be plugged in.

Nissan argued that the adverts did not suggest that the vehicle was a new type of fully electric car which did not require charging. The cars used a new type of technology but also used petrol, which was referred to in the adverts.

The ASA upheld the complaints. It found that the adverts focussed on electric power and were unclear about the extent to which petrol had a role in powering the car. Viewers would therefore understand the adverts to mean that the car used a new type of electric technology that did not require the car to be plugged in the same way as electric powered vehicles. While the adverts did not make any specific environmental claims, the ASA also found that by focussing on the use of electricity, consumers were likely to believe that the car was a better choice for the environment than traditionally fuelled cars. The adverts were also misleading in this regard.

The ASA therefore found that the adverts breached the BCAP Code. The ASA told Nissan that the adverts must not appear again in their current form, and that future adverts must make the power source of Nissan’s vehicles sufficiently clear.

Source(s):

ASA ruling

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