Earlier this week Renault were exposed by the Advertising Standards Authority for proudly advertising in the UK press a 90% reduction in carbon impact of the Renault Fluence, an electric powered vehicle due to launch in 2012. The company based the calculation on an assumption that the car is drawing its energy from the French grid, which is mostly nuclear powered and thus has a lower carbon footprint than the UK grid.
The ASA judgment is here: http://www.asa.org.uk/Compl…lt-UK-Ltd/TF_ADJ_48419.aspx
It remains to be seen if Renault (or at least its marketing staff) will be diligent in correcting their misleading marcomms.
Renault’s beautifully constructed Eco-2 multi-media, multinational campaign started last year and has yachtswoman Ellen Macarthur providing celebrity endorsement. The campaign materials claim amongst other things that one of the vehicles contains the “maximum possible” recycled materials and, by virtue of Renault adopting a corporate ISO14001 system, their ongoing reduced environmental impact is “guaranteed”.
Of course ISO14001 does no such thing. And this is the wording of the print advert which the ASA told Renault to withdraw in 2009.
However, it seems that Renault are STILL giving the impression that ISO14001 “guarantees” their manufacturing sites reduce environmental impacts, only this time the message comes via an embedded video at http://www.renault.co.uk/cars/environment/default.aspx
Moreover the French site continues to make this claim, embedded in their interactive Eco2 pages: “cette norme garantit la diminution constante de l’impact de l’activite de nos sites de production sur le milieu naturel”
Anybody think Renault are doing their shareholders a disservice?