Ad watchdog pulls "environmental" Mercedes ad

LONDON - A press ad for Mercedes-Benz vehicles has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority after one person complained it exaggerated the level of CO2 reductions for its E-Class Saloon range.

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The ad, by AMV BBDO, included copy which read: "CO2 emissions for the range are down to 139g/km*, which means its better for the environment."

A footnote linked to the asterisk explained that the figures were from the range’s manual.

Mercedes did not believe it had over-claimed for the emissions for the range and supplied the ASA with a price list which indicated the CO2 emissions for each vehicle in the range.

The regulator noted that CO2 emissions for the range were between 139g/km and 261g/km, which adhered to the Department of Transport (DfT) fuel economy bands.

But it felt the ad’s headline claim implied that the whole range was low in emissions relative to previous models and compared to other vehicles in the class.

Because a number of vehicles in the range had emissions levels that exceeded the higher end of the DfT bandings, it considered the headline claim would give the impression that a significant proportion of the range had achieved the lowest emissions figure, when that was not actually the case.

On this point the ad was found to be in breach, and the ASA ruled it must not appear again in its current form.

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