French car ads must support less polluting options

So far the automakers are ready to comply, if not enthusiastically (Representational)


Car ads in France must include messages that encourage people to consider less polluting travel options by 2022 as part of the government’s campaign to curb CO2 emissions.

The requirement, set to go into effect in March, was confirmed this week in the government’s Official Journal after years of lobbying by environmental groups – many of whom call for a complete ban on automobile advertisements.

Similar to mandatory reminders to eat healthy on food and drink ads, standardized messages will suggest that drivers make more environmentally responsible choices when possible.

The carmaker will have three options: “Consider carpooling,” “For day-to-day use, take public transportation,” or “For short trips, opt for walking or cycling.”

They will be required for all media – print, TV, radio or the Internet – and must also include the hashtag “#SeDeplacerMoinsPolluer” (Move and Pollute Less).

Ads must also include the vehicles’ CO2 emissions class, a new ranking system to inform consumers about the environmental impact that is part of a broader climate action law approved by lawmakers in July.

So far, automakers seem ready to follow, if not enthusiastically.

“This means that overall, we have to explore alternatives to automobiles. This is the first time we have received such a direct message from the government,” Hyundai France chief Lionel French Keogh told AFP.

“We are going to adapt – moving towards zero-emissions vehicles is the course of history,” he said.

“But there’s an irony: They don’t differentiate between types of motorization. It’s a bit counterproductive to the government’s aim of promoting electric vehicles,” he said.

“We will follow the law and analyze how to best comply with our advertising agency,” said Volkswagen, the third-largest car seller in France after Stelantis and Renault.

As part of the new French law, advertising for the most polluting vehicles – which emit more than 123 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, including many popular SUVs – will become outright illegal from 2028.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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