Skip advert
Advertisement

London ULEZ claims ‘misleading’, says UK advertising watchdog

The Advertising Standards Authority has responded to high numbers of complaints about Transport for London claims for the ULEZ

ULEZ sign

Transport for London (TFL) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) made misleading claims about the Ultra Low Emissions Zone expansion, the UK’s advertising watchdog has ruled.

The Advertising Standards Authority criticised one GLA radio advert promoting the ULEZ expansion, which claimed “according to research, one of the most polluted places in London is inside your car. That’s why ULEZ is expanding across all London Boroughs”.

Advertisement - Article continues below

While the GLA provided a slew of reports and studies in an effort to substantiate its claim that a car’s interior is one of the most polluted places in London, the ASA ruled that the data provided failed to provide justification, and it was therefore misleading. The ASA did not dispute that car drivers would be exposed to pollution, but said the TFL evidence didn’t directly relate to how typical consumers might use their cars in London, and therefore could not be used to substantiate its claims.

The ASA also ruled against a claim made on TV and radio ads by TFL that attributed a near 50 percent fall in Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) concentrations in central London to ULEZ implementation. The ASA stated that members of the public would reasonably expect such claims to be based on actual ‘before and after’ measurements of N02 concentrations, but in fact they were based on calculated ‘scenarios’ and this wasn’t made clear in the adverts. 

More than 500 complaints were received about the ads, and the ASA also upheld a complaint against an advertising claim from TFL that “that most air pollution related deaths actually occur in Outer London areas”, saying it was potentially misleading as it was based on modelled estimates rather than factual data about ‘actual’ deaths.

TFL said it is disappointed with the rulings, pointing out that the ASA did not challenge any of the science it says supports its claims, and that the rulings centre on “minor technical points” that it will take into account when wording future adverts.

What are your thoughts on the ULEZ? Tell us in the comments section below...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

EU threatens Chinese electric car tariffs of almost 50 per cent
XPeng G6 - front cornering
News

EU threatens Chinese electric car tariffs of almost 50 per cent

New tariffs would be imposed on top of pre-existing duties in an aim to override “unfair” subsidies by the Chinese government
12 Jun 2024
Labour to fix one million potholes per year under new ‘Plan for Drivers’
Pothole
News

Labour to fix one million potholes per year under new ‘Plan for Drivers’

Labour’s bid for the motorists’ vote includes funding for potholes, an investigation into unfair car insurance practices and a reform for road buildin…
12 Jun 2024
What are the Tories going to do for us? Pay-per-mile road tax ban in 2024 Conservative manifesto
London Roads
News

What are the Tories going to do for us? Pay-per-mile road tax ban in 2024 Conservative manifesto

Conservative Party election manifesto pledges to address multiple issues facing drivers, including rules surrounding tax and the standard of our roads
11 Jun 2024
Voluntary accessibility standard for electric car chargers is failing, new data shows
EV charger access
News

Voluntary accessibility standard for electric car chargers is failing, new data shows

According to data from Vauxhall, only 2.3 per cent of on-street EV chargers accommodate disabled drivers
10 Jun 2024

Most Popular

New plug-in hybrid Skoda Kodiaq iV offers 75-mile EV range, but only 5 seats, for £42k
Skoda Kodiaq iV - front 3/4 static
News

New plug-in hybrid Skoda Kodiaq iV offers 75-mile EV range, but only 5 seats, for £42k

The first-ever plug-in hybrid Skoda Kodiaq is only available to order with five seats
10 Jun 2024
New BMW i5 Touring 2024 review: a truly impressive electric estate
BMW i5 Touring - front tracking
Road tests

New BMW i5 Touring 2024 review: a truly impressive electric estate

The i5 Touring offers the same attractive qualities as its saloon counterpart, along with plenty of extra practicality
10 Jun 2024
Car Deal of the Day: sporty Cupra Leon hatchback for as little as £194 per month
Cupra Leon - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: sporty Cupra Leon hatchback for as little as £194 per month

Our Car Deal of the Day for 10 June is a very affordable offer on Cupra’s fun to drive family hatchback
10 Jun 2024