Shell has been ordered to stop running ads that were deemed misleading about its role in the energy transition. So-called greenwashing is a growing concern as the energy sector moves away from fossil fuels. File photo Brian Kersey/UPI | License photo
June 7 (UPI) — Energy company Shell misled consumers with advertising campaigns emphasizing low-carbon fuels when its real business model is focused on fossil fuels, the U.K.’s advertising watchdog said Wednesday.
The Advertising Standards Authority highlighted TV, print and online media campaigns showcasing Shell as a clean energy provider.
“From electric car charging to renewable electricity for your home, Shell is giving customers more choice in low-carbon products and helping to drive the UK’s energy transition,” 2022. in June The campaign is broadcast on YouTube. “The UK is ready for cleaner energy.
Adfree Cities, a group, complained to the ASA that the ads omitted significant information about Shell’s fossil fuel investments, suggesting consumers were misled into thinking Shell was a clean energy company.
The ASA found that customers may interpret the material to mean that Shell “as a whole” is “providing clean energy” when in fact it is not.
The ASA said that consumers are concerned about the environmental impact of carbon-intensive energy sources and are likely to seek out companies that move away from these sources of pollution.
“However, they are unlikely to be aware of what is involved with specific companies, and therefore ads may mislead consumers if they misrepresent the contribution they have made or will play in the near future in low-carbon initiatives.” balance sheet of the joint venture,” it states.
Veronica Wignall, director of Adfree Cities, said companies like Shell should not be allowed to advertise given their history of pollution.
“We need strong legislation to stop fossil fuel advertising, but we also need UK advertising agencies to stop enabling clients like Shell, who are not only on the wrong side of history, but also the source of growing regulatory and reputational risk.” She said.
Shell has been ordered to stop campaigning in the UK.
However, so-called greenwashing is a global concern. The US House Oversight and Reform Committee in December rebuked fossil fuel companies for blacking out some of their fossil fuel investment plans in an effort to clean up their image.
The oversight committee released a 31-page memorandum summarizing the committee’s investigation into fossil fuel industry misinformation. She suggested that US oil company Chevron had presented a strategy to its board to keep Chevron investing in fossil fuels while others switch to cleaner alternatives.