Mercedes rapped by ASA over new E-Class adEmissions claims were misleading, watchdog said

02 October 2009

Ads for the new E-Class were misleading, the ASA said

Ads for the new E-Class were misleading, the ASA said

Mercedes has been ordered to stop running an advert that describes the as ‘better for the environment’.

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the car maker's headline claim that 'CO2 emissions for the range are down to 139g/km, which means it's better for the environment' would give the impression that a significant proportion of the range had achieved that low emissions figure, when that was not the case.

'We considered that the headline claim would give the impression to readers that a significant proportion of the range had achieved the lowest emissions figure, or a figure that was relatively low for the class, when that was not the case,' said an ASA spokesperson.

CO2 figures

The ASA acknowledged that 'the exact CO2 emissions figure per vehicle was dependent on a number of possible variations', including the choice between petrol and diesel, manual and automatic gearbox, and accounting for the various alloy wheel sizes.

It also noted that the advert, which described the E-class as ‘a pleasure, but not a guilty one’, added in a footnote that the CO2 emissions varied between 139g/km and 261g/km - as much as some sports cars.

But the ASA said: 'In total there were 24 possible combinations, of which two had an emissions figure of 139g/km.'

'Exaggerated' claims

The watchdog, which received a complaint saying the advert exaggerated the level of CO2 emissions, ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form.

A Mercedes spokesman said: ‘Mercedes-Benz worked with the ASA's copy advisory service, CAP, in the development of the copy on advertising.

'There was one complaint received about this particular advertisement, which was used during the first phase of the models' UK launch.

'The information in the advert is absolutely accurate and true - CO2 emissions for the new range are as low as 139g/km. Mercedes-Benz will abide by the ASA ruling.'


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