Watchdog slams E.ON wind farm ads

LONDON - The Advertising Standards Authority has banned a local press ad and promotional material for E.ON's West Ancroft wind farm.

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The ad, a postcard and information sheet, outlined benefits of the proposed wind farm development and claimed it would be able to power around 10,200 homes. The ad also featured an image of several wind turbines sited on a coastline.

One person challenged whether the advertiser could substantiate the claim of powering 10,200 homes and said the ad was misleading. They also felt the image of the turbines was misleading as it did not reflect the true size of those intended for the proposed development.

The ASA noted the ads stated the wind farm was expected to generate 18MW of energy, providing enough renewable power for around 10,200 homes and readers would understand this to be an approximation.

Because E.ON had demonstrated the workings behind this equation and made clear in the ad that it was a projection, the regulator concluded the ads were unlikely to mislead on this point.

However, the watchdog found the images of wind turbines did not reflect the true size of those intended for the development and on this point felt the ads were likely to mislead. The ASA also felt that the photomontage used in the ads did not sufficiently visually represent the development and on this point also found the ad misleading.

The ads must not appear again in their current format.