Mixed response to ad complaints

Complaints made to advertising standards authorities in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK about an advertising campaign run by oil giant Shell have met with a different response in each of the three countries.

Back in May, Friends of the Earth lodged the complaints about a series of adverts which show a silhouette of an oil refinery emitting flowers rather than smoke along with slogans highlighting the company’s efforts to improve its environmental performance (see related story).

The advert sought to promote the fact that Shell pumps some of the CO2 from its operations into greenhouses to grow flowers.

The NGO argued that the adverts were misleading and did not reflect the truth about the industry’s carbon emissions.

A spokesperson for FoE told edie that the Dutch authority had upheld its complaint and invited Shell not to re-publish the advert while the Belgium authority had thrown out the complaint.

The pressure group is still awaiting a decision in the UK.

When asked about the advert in May, Shell told edie that the company was committed to meeting the world’s energy needs in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and was always looking for ways to mitigate emissions.

It also pointed out that hydrocarbons would be needed as part of the world’s energy mix for some time to come.

Sam Bond

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