Sacré bleu, car ads in France must promote walking too

citroenPan-European car marketing campaigns are set to get lot more complex with the introduction of new legislation in France which force advertisers to flag up more environmental modes of transport, urging consumers to walk, cycle or take public transport instead.

Due to come into force in March, the new regulation aims to cut transport emissions, which, according to the European Environment Agency, account for a quarter of the EU’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

By then, car brands will be forced by law to include one of three messages in any advertising within the country: “For short journeys, walk or cycle”, “Consider carpooling” and “Take public transport.”

Advertisements must also carry the hashtag #SeDéplacerMoinsPolluer (#MovePolluteLess), while a vehicle’s carbon-dioxide emissions class must also feature prominently.

The legislation applies to nearly every channel, including TV, radio, cinema, digital and print. Companies which fall foul of the law face fines of up to €50,000.

Hyundai France chief executive Lionel French Keogh has already claimed the measures stigmatise cars and are counterproductive since they do not distinguish between types of cars, such as electric vehicles.

France’s ecological transition minister Barbara Pompili said: “Decarbonising transportation does not only mean switching to an electric motor. It also means using public transportation or cycling when possible.”

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