Advertising Standards Authority rules TV and print ads for the government’s flagship retrofit scheme contained “unsubstantiated” claims


Source: DECCgovuk

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that a set of government adverts for the Green Deal were “misleading”.

The news is another blow to the government’s beleaguered flagship energy efficiency scheme, which has struggled to gain momentum since its launch in January 2013.

The TV and print advertising, put together by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and featuring TV presenter Oliver Heath, claimed people could save money by getting a Green Deal and provided information on Green Deal finance plans and the role of Green Deal assessors.

The Advertising Standards Authority said a number of the claims in the ads were “misleading” because the language used implied savings on energy bills were “guaranteed” for those taking out a Green Deal.

It added that a claim that average property prices increased by 14% after homes had a Green Deal was based on data that was “not sufficient to substantiate the claim”.

DECC argued the ads did not suggest savings were guaranteed but merely “encouraged consumers to find out more”.

But it admitted “some detail was omitted from the ad” on the Green Deal’s impact on house prices and this would be included in future promotions.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled the “ads must not appear in their current form”.

It said: “We told DECC to ensure they held sufficient evidence for claims made in marketing communications, including saving claims, their ads did not misleadingly imply savings were guaranteed and that ads did not misleadingly give the impression that Green Deal assessments were impartial or give the impression of being a Green Deal testimonial when they related to other schemes or work.”