The UK’s Shell advertising campaign was barred for “likely to mislead” consumers

June 20, 2023

Shell, which has set a goal of becoming a net zero carbon energy company by 2050 while also increasing its gas business by a fifth, promoted renewable electricity, wind, and car charging point initiatives through a TV, poster, and YouTube campaign.

Source: CNBC

The advertising regulator in the United Kingdom has banned an ad campaign promoting its green initiatives, claiming that marketing the oil giant’s lower emissions energy products was “likely to mislead” consumers. 

The ban applies to a poster seen in Bristol, southwest England, as well as a TV commercial and a video posted on the Shell YouTube channel. The ads, which were all released in 2022, aimed to raise awareness of Shell’s energy products under the campaign tagline “The U.K. is ready for cleaner energy.”

“From electric vehicle charging to renewable electricity for your home, Shell is giving customers more low-carbon choices and helping drive the UK’s energy transition,” the company says in one of the ads.

The Advertising Standards Authority came to the conclusion that the ad campaign might cause viewers to overestimate the company’s investment in clean energy after conducting an investigation. 

A Shell spokesperson said: “No energy transition can be successful if people are not aware of the alternatives available to them. That is what our adverts set out to show, and that is why we’re concerned by this shortsighted decision.”

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