Following Friends of the Earth and the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s' initiative to make the car advertisers stick to the guidelines re: CO2 emissions info on car ads, we this week had some excellent news. Our persistence has paid off, and following our efforts the Department for Transport has tightened the laws, so that misleading the public isn't going to be an option any more.
I am not keen to celebrate too early, however - advertisers are already saying that this is simply a challenge for them - it may lead to some very clever advertising that gets round the law in dubious ways. Think back to when cigarette advertising was made to carry, in huge letters, the fact that, well, smoking and being cold in a coffin are somewhat linked. The ads became, shall we say, 'arty' with all sorts of subliminal messages going on. Of course, cigarette advertising has since been banned - oh, what joy if ads for highly polluting cars were also outlawed! After all, polluting the planet will directly lead to the loss of human life. Bring on the ban, I say.