BMW ActiveE Ad Banned by ASA

A slap on BMW's eco-cheek came this week from UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), an independent regulator of advertising, who found that the German carmaker's ad portraying the ActiveE electric vehicle is... misleading.

BMW is depicting the concept car as being a 0 percent emissions vehicle, a statement which didn't sit well with a Brit John Doe, who filed a complaint with ASA. The organization found BMW's statement that the ActiveE provides “electrifying performance and zero CO2 emissions when driving” to be inaccurate and breaking advertising rules.

According to, BMW defended the ad by saying ActiveE produces no tailpipe emissions.

ASA's overzealous reply? The car is being recharged with power from the national grid and consumes electricity. Electricity is being produced by burning fossil fuels, which are pollutants. Hence, the ActiveE is not a zero emissions vehicle. Quod erat demonstrandum, as the Latin saying goes.

Of course, we find this entire logic to be pure gibberish. If we are to use the same pattern of thinking when it comes to the Nissan Leaf, for instance, we might even convince ourselves the Japanese EV is more harmful to the environment than a Boeing 737...

Be it as it may, the respective BMW ad was banned. This after last week the carmaker's Z4 ad drew another reaction for ASA, who found that the low emission levels advertised for the roadster are indeed low, but only for a BMW, not for ALL cars...Those German liars!

"We considered that the claim 'zero percent emissions' was likely to be interpreted by readers to mean that the car's use would not result in the production of emissions," an ASA statement, cited by AFP, read.

“We told BMW not to repeat claims that stated or implied that an electric vehicle would produce zero emissions in use."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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