Lufthansa poster banned in UK for ‘misleading advertising’

View of a Boeing 747-8 airplane from Lufthansa (LH) at the Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
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A Lufthansa poster advertising the airline’s green credentials has been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) in the UK.

The poster from June 2022, featured an image of the front of a plane in flight and the underside of the plane was represented by an image of the earth from space.

The review by the ASA was undertaken to decide whether the poster gave a “misleading impression of the advertiser’s environmental impact”.

The advert included text which stated, “LUFTHANSA GROUP. CONNECTING THE WORLD. PROTECTING ITS FUTURE. #MakeChangeFly”.

Defending the poster Lufthansa said that the phrase “PROTECTING ITS FUTURE” would not be understood by consumers as a “narrow and distinct reference to protecting the environment” and the slogan would be seen as a mission statement intended to draw people to the website.

The airline defenced its position further by explaining to the ASA that there was “no absolute statement stating that flying, or Lufthansa, had no impact on the environment and it would be incorrect to conclude the average consumer would understand the slogan in that way”.

However, in response the ASA said: “We considered that the claim “PROTECTING ITS FUTURE” was likely to be interpreted by consumers as an environmental reference to how Lufthansa’s approach to aviation was protecting the future of the world, given that this text appeared immediately after the text “CONNECTING THE WORLD” and was superimposed on a picture of the globe.”

The ASA added: “We also understood that there were currently no environmental initiatives or commercially viable technologies in the aviation industry which would substantiate the absolute green claim “PROTECTING ITS FUTURE”, as we considered consumers would interpret it.”

The ASA instructed Lufthansa to “ensure the basis of future environmental claims was made clear and did not give a misleading impression of the impact caused by travelling with the airline.”

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