Lexus recently ran an ad campaign in the UK for the RX 400h headlined: "High performance. Low emissions. Zero guilt." Unfortunately, the verbiage didn't quite ring true with complainants to the Advertising Standards Authority, who believed the claim misleadingly implied the car caused little or no harm to the environment. Their argument is based on the carbon dioxide emissions level of 192 g/km for the hybrid version of the RX 400, which still places it at a higher level than the average for all cars. Toyota argued that within its category — SUV's — the RX 400h has low emissions. Unfortunately for them, the ASA still believed the headline was misleading because it implied, incorrectly, that the vehicle's emissions were low in comparison to all vehicles and therefore the SUV caused little or no harm to the environment. The ASA ruled "Lexus could not make such comparisons and claims of environmental friendliness in future car ads if they could not be proved." Now if only they had the authority to do something about the silly Subaru ad running here in the US with the deer at the end — god, that ad bugs me. But what say you?
Lexus ad banned for green claims [Guardian.co.uk]
Toyota to Embark on Massive Hybrid Ad Campaign [internal]