Air France, Lufthansa, Etihad ads banned for greenwashing

San Francisco, California, USA - April 13, 2015: Air France Airbus A380 departing San Francisco International Airport.

Advertisements for three major airlines have been banned for claiming to be more environmentally friendly than reality would dictate.

Air France, Lufthansa and Etihad’s ads have not been given any kind of ‘green’ light after it was revealed they had mislead consumers about their environmental impact, BBC reported.

Air France’s ad claimed the airline was “committed to protecting the environment” while Etihad used the words “environmental advocacy” and Lufthansa called on passengers to “fly more sustainably.”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a self-regulatory organisation of the advertising industry in the United Kingdom, said the ads did not show the environmental impact these airlines had on climate change. Lufthansa and Etihad have since removed their ads, while the ASA said Air France’s response was unsatisfying.

In Air France’s ad, the airline enabled people to “travel better and sustainably”, according to the ASA, allowing customers to believe the French carrier was offering travellers a sustainable and friendly way to fly, which it wasn’t.

Lufthansa’s Make Change Fly campaign

Lufthansa claimed that its use of the words “fly more sustainably” were a reference to its ‘Green Fares’ options, while Etihad said it has removed references to “environmental advocacy” from its ads following a complaint.

Lufthansa’s Make Change Fly campaign was found to have misled consumers into thinking the carrier was not harming the environment with steps it was taking. The airline responded that the purpose of the ad was to address the need to reduce the environmental impact of flying.

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