Peters & Peters

Renault Austral car advert found to be misleading


Key facts:

Renault faced scrutiny from the ASA over a Meta advert, featuring the Renault Austral car, which included the headline claim “Up to 80% electric driving in the city” and a subsidiary claim that the headline claim was substantiated by WLTP (‘Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure’) testing.

Renault submitted that the advert had been posted in error and that the qualifying text should have made clear that it was not based on WLTP testing. The CAP Code made clear that marketers must hold (objective) documentary evidence to prove claims, before distributing or submitting marketing for publication. While the ASA acknowledged the error with the qualifying text, it found – irrespective of this – that the headline claim was misleading as its meaning was unclear and capable of numerous interpretations. The ASA took the view that, without additional information to explain the context of the claim, consumers were unable to make an informed decision about whether to follow up on the ad and pursue an enquiry or purchase. It also found that consumers would be likely to have understood the subsidiary claim to mean that the testing was carried out by an independent body, which was not the case.

The claims, therefore, breached rules 3.1 and 3.3 (misleading advertising), rule 3.7 (substantiation) and rule 11.1 (environmental claims) of the CAP Code. Renault was instructed not to use the ad in its current form and was reminded of the necessity to provide clear and comprehensive information in future advertisements, especially concerning environmental claims.


ASA ruling

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