Lexus breaches advertising rules

An ad campaign by a luxury car manufacturer has misled the public, the advertising watchdog has ruled.

Adverts for the Lexus RX400h hybrid made misleading comments about the vehicle's environmental credentials and also portrayed speed in a way that might have encouraged motorists to drive irresponsibly, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ruling relates to a poster and national newspaper campaign for the car, which was headlined "Put your carbon foot down". It showed an image of the car with its wheels moving against a blurred background.

The advert included the vehicle's carbon emissions of 192g of CO2 per km in the small print, and claimed it was "better for the environment but without the compromise".

The ASA, which received eight complaints, found that the adverts breached the advertising code.

Lexus argued that the campaign's focus was not on speed but the fact that hybrid drive technology "generated fewer carbon emissions without compromising performance".

It stated that its green claims for the car were intended to show it was a more environmentally friendly option than its direct SUV competitors, with the RX400h producing lower carbon emissions than other cars in its sector.

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