September 19, 2012

Donald Trump ordered to tone down crusade against Scottish wind farms

By FRANK URQUHART | 19 September 2012

Donald Trump has been ordered by advertising watchdogs to tone down his crusade against wind farms around Scotland’s coastline after being accused of placing a “highly misleading” advert in a regional newspaper as part of his multi-million-pound campaign.

Earlier this year, the tycoon was reported to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after he took out a full-page newspaper advert with a picture of 11 rusting and redundant wind turbines, under the headline “Welcome to Scotland!”

The advert proclaimed: “Alex Salmond wants to build 8,750 of these monstrosities – just think about it!”

The advert carried a footnote stating “photo not taken in Scotland” and it later emerged that the turbines featured in the advert had been photographed at a redundant wind-farm site at Kamaoa in Hawaii.

In a ruling, issued today, the ASA upheld complaints by Scottish Renewables that the advert gave a misleading impression of the possible consequences of the Scottish Government’s wind-turbines plan and the type of turbines likely to be used in Scotland, as well as exaggerating the Scottish government’s estimate for offshore wind-farm developments.

The authority also ordered the billionaire owner of the Menie golf resort in Aberdeenshire not to run the advert again in its current form. The tycoon and the Communities Against Turbines Scotland (Cats) have also been told to ensure that the pictures they use in future adverts reflect the types of turbines likely to be used in Scotland, and “not to exaggerate” the number of turbines likely to be installed.

Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “We are pleased that the ASA has agreed with the points we and others made about the advert.

“As we have frequently stated, there is a rigorous planning process in place to ensure that wind farms are only approved if they meet strict environmental guidelines. Planning conditions require that sites are decommissioned and reinstated promptly at the end of their working life.”

He added: “Figures show that Scotland’s wind power sector is delivering hundreds of millions of pounds of investment each year, supporting thousands of jobs and forms a key part of the plan to cut Scotland’s carbon emissions.”

Mr Trump could not be contacted for comment, but a spokeswoman for his organisation said: “The advert served its purpose and illustrated what will happen to Scotland if the government’s ludicrous plans to build thousands of turbines goes ahead.”

Linda Holt, of Cats, also defended the controversial advert. She said: “We believe the ad made a valid point which the wind industry has yet to answer.”

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