Quantcast

Deceptive Fracking Claims Found Unacceptable by UK Ad Board

Energy

Fossil fuel companies are getting more brazen in their claims, keeping the UK's advertising oversight board, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), busy sorting through them.

A woman holds up a sign at a fracking protest march in Balcomb, England. Fracking advocates hope they'll win over people like her with misleading ads.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

We recently reported that the ASA ruled against Peabody Energy for implying that its coal was producing "clean" energy.

Dallas-based Breitling Energy went well beyond implication, attempting to seduce British citizens into a love affair with fracking. The ASA has found that an ad run in UK newspaper The Telegraph in February, was misleading, reports the Guardian.

The ad was in the form of a letter from CEO Chris Faulkner, an evangelist for fracking, who has written a book and produced a film on its benefits. It claimed the Britain suffered from a "near-catastrophic" gas shortage in early 2013 and that fracking could offer "decades worth of natural gas," "millions of pounds in tax revenues," "freedom from interruptions and stoppages as a result of Russia's political games with your gas supply," "lowering energy prices for millions," and "reducing greenhouse emissions by replacing coal with natural gas for energy."

After a reader complained that the ad exaggerated the gas shortage, that the benefits of fracking were unknown, and that Russia didn't provide any of the UK's gas supply, the ASA investigated and found against Breitling on all the charges. It told Breitling not to run any ads in the future without hard evidence.

The Guardian said:

Breitling produced press reports to back up its claim about gas supplies running short but it acknowledged that National Grid and the Department of Energy and Climate Change had said energy markets functioned normally at the time. Breitling cited David Cameron's assertion that fracking had 'real potential' to cut energy bills but the ASA decided its claims about the virtues of fracking were misleading and exaggerated.

Faulkner and Breitling vice president Thomas Miller were unrepentant and swaggering, attacking both the ASA and the Guardian, one of the UK's most reliable and respected news sources, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Referring to ASA also finding against a pair of American Apparel ads it deemed too suggestive, Miller said, "Fracking and sex. The Guardian editors sure know a good news story when they see one. You can see by what they chose to run and not run, how the media has over-controlled this debate. The sex ads were only covered because they were racy, that’s all. There is no news value there whatsoever."

In fact, fracking has been a hotly debated and controversial in the UK where shale exploration sites are plentiful but the dense population means more potential human impacts. There have been numerous large-scale protests against fracking in the UK. And while England is known for its racy tabloids, the Guardian isn't one of them.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Peabody Energy Can’t Tout Its ‘Clean Coal,’ Says UK Ad Watchdog

1,000 March at Largest Fracking Protest in UK History

UK Proposes to Frack One-Half of Great Britain

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A roller coaster on the Jersey Shore flooded after Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Hurricane_Sandy_New_Jersey_Pier.jpg: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen / U.S. Air Force / New Jersey National Guard / CC BY 2.0

New Jersey will be the first state in the U.S. to require builders to take the climate crisis into consideration before seeking permission for a project.

Read More
The Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu speaks on Jan. 26 during a press briefing on studying the 2019-nCoV coronavirus and developing a vaccine to prevent it. Roman Balandin / TASS / Getty Images

Editor's note: The coronavirus that started in Wuhan has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed at least 100 in China as of Jan. 27, 2020. Thailand and Hong Kong each have reported eight confirmed cases, and five people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness. People are hoping for a vaccine to slow the spread of the disease.

Read More
Sponsored
Healthline ranks Samoas, seen above, as the 11th healthiest Girl Scout Cookie. brian / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Nancy Schimelpfening

  • Nutrition experts say healthy eating is about making good choices most of the time.
  • Treats like cookies can be eaten in moderation.
  • Information like total calories, saturated fat, and added sugars can be used to compare which foods are relatively healthier.
  • However, it's also important to savor and enjoy what you're eating so you don't feel deprived.

Yes, we know. Cookies aren't considered a "healthy" food by any stretch of the imagination.

Read More
Actress Jane Fonda is arrested during the "Fire Drill Friday" Climate Change Protest on Oct. 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. John Lamparski / Getty Images

When you see an actor in handcuffs, they're usually filming a movie. But when Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, Sally Field, and other celebrities were arrested in Washington, D.C., last fall, the only cameras rolling were from the news media.

Read More
A solitary Dungeness crab sits in the foreground, at low tide on an overcast day. The crabs' shells are dissolving because of ocean acidification on the West Coast. Claudia_Kuenkel / iStock / Getty Images

As the Pacific Ocean becomes more acidic, Dungeness crabs, which live in coastal areas, are seeing their shells eaten away, according to a new study commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Read More