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ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.4, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 15.1(b), 15.1(c), 15.2, 15.3, 15.4, 15.5, 15.6, 15.8
A video on the advertiser’s YouTube channel stated:
“The car brand voted best for tackling climate change in Ireland, also makes the country's best selling car. Ireland, you seem to know what you're doing.
Powered by purpose. built for a better world, Toyota.”
The complainant objected to the advertisement on the following grounds:
The complainant questioned how the claim “the car brand voted best for tackling climate change in Ireland” could be made when the advertisers’ hybrid vehicles required fuel unlike battery electric vehicles from other car manufacturers.
The complainant also objected to the fact that no source had been provided for the claim.
The advertisers said that the claim they were making was that they were voted Number 1 car brand for tackling climate change, which they had been in an iReach survey. The advertisers provided a copy of an insights document for the iReach Survey and identified the relevant question from the survey:
“Which single brand do you think does the most to tackle climate change?”
The document provided an overview of the results of the survey and for the above question, listing the top three brands named by respondents. The advertisers were listed at number 1 with 10% of respondents naming them, while a supermarket chain was number 2 with 9% and a home furnishing brand was listed at number 3 also with 9%.
The advertisers said that they would be happy to include the source of the claim if required.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
Issue 1 - Upheld:
The Complaints Committee noted that the claim used in the advertisement was “The car brand voted best for tackling climate change in Ireland” while the question in the survey was “Which single brand do you think does the most to tackle climate change?”. The Committee noted that the brand had been named by 10% of respondents, making them the brand named by most respondents in a survey where any brand in any sector could be named, and that the question had not been centred around a brand doing the best at tackling climate change, rather it had asked what brand did the most to tackle climate change. In the circumstances, the Committee did not consider that the claim to be ‘voted best’ had been substantiated and was therefore in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.
Issue 2 - Upheld:
The Committee noted that advertisement had not included information regarding the source of the claim made (the iReach survey) and they welcomed the advertisers offer to include the source of the claim in the advertising. The Committee noted, however, the requirements of the Code regarding environmental claims that the basis of any claim should be explained clearly and should be qualified where necessary and that unqualified claims may mislead if they omit significant information. In this case, as the advertising had not included the source of the claim, the Committee considered that advertising was in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4 and 15.5 of the Code.
The advertising should not reappear in its current form.