UK regulator bans two Etihad advertisements over 'exaggerated' environmental claims
UAE national airline Etihad Airways has been barred from running two advertisements after regulators on Wednesday found the environmental claims made in them to be "exaggerated".
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the UAE-based firm had failed to back up claims made in advertisements run on Facebook last year that it was "taking a louder, bolder approach to sustainable aviation".
"The claim exaggerated the impact that flying with Etihad would have on the environment," the ASA said.
"We understood that there were currently no initiatives or commercially viable technologies in operation within the aviation industry which would adequately substantiate an absolute green claim such as 'sustainable aviation' as we considered consumers would interpret it in this context."
Etihad argued that it had made several changes to geared towards minimising its environmental impact, including introducing fuel-efficient aircraft, carbon offsetting and the UAE's "sustainable aviation fuel production".
The ASA noted the steps taken, but ruled that claims like "sustainable aviation" needed a stronger degree of evidence.
The ruling against Etihad follows similar action taken by the ASA against German airline Lufthansa in March. The ASA banned an advert run by the airline claiming that it was "Connecting the world. Protecting its future.”
The ASA pledged in September 2021 to crack down on "misleading environmental claims" made by companies, resulting in action against big names including Ryanair, HSBC, Esso, Shell, and Oatly.