Advertising Standards Agency to rule on Airbus's 'green' adverts


Last week I foolishly lashed out at Mandelson, Airbus, and anyone within reach, annoyed that tax-payers' money was to be spent propping up Airbus while the Vesta workers got handed P45s. Turns out I was wrong. Airbus is one of the good guys, or so their advert in the National Geographic claims.

There's no need to worry about aviation's emissions, because "Airbus sees the bigger picture, and works to minimize environmental impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering fuel consumption, and creating quieter, more efficient aircraft." Doesn't it sound lovely? Hold on a second: reducing greenhouse gas emissions? How on earth does an aircraft do that? Does it suck up and capture the carbon as it flies, like a giant carbon-hoover with wings?

Oddly enough Airbus are simply lying: their emissions, and the emissions of any company which uses their aircraft, are increasing. In fact the whole industry's emissions are increasing, because they keep getting more and more people to fly - partly because misleading adverts like this, with cute chameleons on them, tell people that flying's OK really, because it's like green and stuff.

But the Advertising Standards Agency has woken from its slumber and agreed to make a ruling (after some not inconsiderable persuasion by a colleague). I'm not holding out too much hope - the ASA is as toothless as a new-born - but it's about time someone did something about ridiculous greenwash adverts. Ideally something involving a tin of paint and some creative 'touch ups', but anything would do.