An ad for energy company npower has been banned for misleadingly implying that it supplied Wembley stadium with renewable energy.
A magazine ad for npower’s green energy product Juice ran with the headline “npower, the green energy behind concerts at Wembley stadium”.
The ad then stated that npower was responsible for “powering the arch and stadium with renewable energy”.
The Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint challenging the claim.
Parent company RWE npower said that it put enough renewable energy into the National Grid to match the demands of Wembley stadium over an extended period of up to two years.
The company claimed that, even though npower was not supplying renewable energy directly to the stadium, this concept was sufficiently understood by consumers so as not to be misleading.
npower also argued that because legislation required it to prove that sales of renewable energy matched purchases from renewable energy sources the ad’s claim was “justified”.
However, the ASA said that the sourcing and distribution of “green electricity” was complex and might not necessarily be well understood by consumers.
The ad watchdog concluded that many consumers would not understand that renewable energy was not directly responsible for power at the stadium, but was supplied to the National Grid by a certificates trading system.
The ASA therefore ruled that the ad was misleading and should not be shown again in its current form.
By Mark Sweeney
21 November 2007
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