Dear Mr Lister
Thank you for contacting the Advertising Standards Authority.
The ASA Council has considered the ad and your complaint but concluded there was no breach of the Code. This is because the Council noted that the ad did not make any specific claims about particular projects that the advertisers were involved with or goals achieved in terms of “reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering fuel consumption, and creating quieter, more efficient aircraft.” These claims were all stated as generalised aspirations, relative to the advertisers own actions and current levels of emissions, fuel consumption and noise; there was no specific claim that the advertisers could or would reduce the net environmental impact of the industry. The Council therefore concluded that readers of National Geographic would be aware of the fact that the aviation industry contributed significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, among other things, and would not regard the ad as claiming that the advertisers were taking action that would lead to absolute, rather than relative, reductions.
I realise that will disappoint you and, although we won’t be taking any other action, we’ve told the advertiser about your concerns (without revealing your identity).
Our website, www.asa.org.uk, contains information about the ASA and the work we do, including the results of investigations into other complaints, many of which have been upheld.