Renault teams up with F1 champions Red Bull Racing to create a very special new Megane Renaultsport
“Misleading” Vauxhall Ampera TV ad banned
A TV ad that starts by showing the Vauxhall Ampera attached to a plug socket and ends with a voiceover proclaiming it “drives electricity further” has been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency.
It seems Vauxhall forgot to mention the Ampera still has a petrol engine.
Three people complained the omission was a rather “misleading” one, given the advert also claims a 360-mile range for the car. A distance it most definitely cannot do on battery power alone.
Instead the Ampera relies on the rather more humble and down-to-earth 1.4-litre petrol from the Vauxhall Corsa, which acts as a generator to provide more electricity on the go.
This takes its power from a much more conventional source – a petrol pump. Hence the reason the Vauxhall is more properly referred to as a ‘range-extender’ instead of an electric vehicle.
Strangely, Vauxhall only chose to show an electricity pylon on screen, and not a filling station.
Announcing its decision to ban the ad, the ASA acknowledged the Ampera does indeed have a total 360-mile range, and accepted Vauxhall’s assertion that its wheels are driven by electricity at all times.
However, it felt the commercial did not go far enough in explaining to the “average viewer” that this is a new type of petrol-electric hybrid vehicle, not some kind of revolutionary breakthrough in pure electric technology.
Vauxhall argued on-screen text stating “Comparison based on electric vehicles and extended-range electric vehicles driven electrically at all times, even when an additional power source is generating electricity” was explanation enough.
The ASA, rather unsurprisingly, disagreed:
“An average viewer unfamiliar with the use of petrol engines in electric vehicles would not necessarily understand what the additional power source was,” it said.
The Ampera’s battery-only electric range is limited to around 50 miles.
The ASA has ruled that the advert cannot appear again in its current form.
Since we originally ran this story, Vauxhall has been in touch with the following statement:
“The Vauxhall Ampera is 2012 European Car of the Year. The very fact that it uses unique range-extender technology – which offers drivers up to 310, still electrically-driven miles of range once its battery’s energy is depleted – is a major reason for this award and the universal praise it’s received from press and public.
“The range extender’s part in the technology, and a clear indication of the car’s range before and after it kicks in, was outlined in the text shown in the TV ad. The Ampera ad itself has been viewed by around 42 million people to date, so Vauxhall is disappointed that as a result of just three complaints being received by the ASA, it has had to be withdrawn.”
related stories on msn
Latest Cars videos
On the road with the landmark Lambos for special golden anniversary drive.
Date 13/05/13, Duration 4:26, Views 9376