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European Automakers Are Feeling the Heat

3:24 PM EST on February 26, 2007

autobahn.jpg

While the never-ending barrage of automobile advertising is as shameless as ever here in the States, European automakers are beginning to recognize that their product is perceived as harmful and destructive, not unlike cigarettes or trans-fats. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Amid growing alarm over climate change and a trend in Europe toward faster, heavier cars, a group representing Europe's leading advertising agencies has drafted guidelines covering issues such as safety and the environment that -- if adopted -- would establish basic principles for ad agencies to follow when promoting cars.

Among the suggested principles in his group's draft guidelines: "Speed or acceleration claims should not be the main message of an advertisement." Adds Mr. Lyle, "We've seen regulation on tobacco, we're beginning to see it on food advertising...if the discussion on climate change carries on, we may see something on car advertising as well."

Of course, this realization doesn't mean that automakers are necessarily going to do anything to change the product -- just the way they sell it.


Photo of storm clouds over the Autobahn:
Hans Van Reenan/Flickr

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