Tories appeal for 'greener' ads

Cameron Government's 'green code' would target car-makers and airlines to combat climate change.

A Conservative Government would force advertisers to help save the planet by bringing in a tough "green code" on promoting products and services that damage the environment.

David Cameron has backed a Tory policy review report calling for car-makers to disclose the carbon emissions from their vehicles in prominent cigarette-style warnings that would take up a fixed proportion of each ad. It also wants airlines to include the level of emissions caused by every flight they advertise.

The Tory Quality of Life Policy Group opposed "Draconian bans" on ads as an infringement of freedom, but said an incoming Cameron Government should lead a drive for the "responsible marketing" of products that contribute to climate change.

"Our approach would seek to improve the quality and reliability of information in the public domain and to encourage brand managers, marketers and advertising executives to think about their role in promoting sustainability," the report said. "As society becomes more aware of the problems, so the businesses that rely on public approbation will avoid marketing that strikes a false note with the customer."

The group called on the Government to take a lead in drawing up an international code of practice on car advertising. Earlier this week, the European Parliament's Environment Committee backed a call by the MEP Chris Davies for 20 per cent of car ads to be devoted to emission levels.