Adverts touting the green credentials of three airlines have been banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for “giving a misleading impression” of their environmental impact.
Amid a crackdown on greenwashing by the ASA, Air France, Lufthansa and Etihad were all deemed to have breached the UK’s advertising code.
Air France’s advert claimed the airline is “committed to protecting the environment: travel better and sustainably”, but the ASA said it could find no “evidence demonstrating that Air France were protecting the environment and making aviation sustainable”.
Etihad’s advert promoted the airline’s “environmental advocacy”, which the ASA also said it saw no evidence of. Lufthansa was accused of not properly explaining its claim that passengers could “fly more sustainably”.
All airlines were request for a comment. Etihad said it was working to reduce its impact “by investing billions into its fleet of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, research into sustainable aviation fuels, as well as carbon offsetting”.
Lufthansa said that it “regrets” that it ads “lacked the explanation of the further basis for the statement ‘fly more sustainable’”. It said the company was “taking measures to make its flight operations more climate-friendly” by modernising its fleet and embracing ‘sustainable aviation fuel’ (SAF). Read more about SAF here.
Perhaps surprisingly, Air France said its ad “was generated by an artificial intelligence tool”. It added: “As soon as the ASA decision was announced, Air France changed the parameters for creating online ads to ensure that such an event could not happen again.”
Image: Jerry Zhang