A new report from Belgium claims that 99% of car adverts published in newspapers and magazines and on roadside hoardings in the European Union are illegal, because they fail to comply with European Directive 1999/94/EC, which stipulates that a vehicle’s fuel consumption and its CO2 emissions must be "easy to read and no less prominent than the main part of the information provided in the [advert]".
Have a look for yourself: try to find this information on a car ad. If you look hard enough you will find it - displayed in tiny letters. Far less prominent than the "main part of the information", i.e. the advertising slogans. In practice, the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are virtually impossible to read without a magnifying glass!
So they have suggested a new look for advertisements, which we think is dead on.
In October 2007 the European Parliament recommended - by a large majority - "that a minimum of 20% of the space devoted to advertising should provide information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions". If this recommendation were followed, a car advert would look like the picture to the right.
We think consumers have a right to know how much CO2 is emitted by the cars that manufacturers are trying to sell them.