Etihad Airways pulled up again for ‘greenwashing’

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Etihad was asked to take down its ads again by the Advertising Standards Association (ASA) in the UK.

According to the ASA’s ruling, the airlines’s ad gave a misleading impression of the advertiser’s environmental impact.

The ad was a paid Google ad that was seen in July 2023. It featured text that said, “Etihad Airways – Book Your Flight Today […] Enjoy Great Discounts, Offers and Deals On Your Flight Bookings. Explore the World With Confidence and Total Peace Of Mind With Etihad Airways. Environmental Advocacy. Award-Winning Service”

The association considered that the claims that Etihad allowed consumers to explore the world with “Total Peace Of Mind” alongside the phrase “Environmental Advocacy” would be understood by consumers to mean that Etihad actively worked to protect the environment,

Therefore, implying that consumers could use their services with “Total Peace Of Mind” with regard to the environmental impact of doing so.

In ASA’s ruling it also mentioned, “We therefore expected to see a high level of evidence, which showed how they offered consumers total peace of mind about the environmental impact of using their service.”

“We understood that air travel produced high levels of both CO2 and non-CO2 emissions, which were making a substantial contribution to climate change.

“We also understood that there were currently no initiatives or commercially viable technologies in operation within the aviation industry that would adequately substantiate absolute green claims.”

In response to the ruling, Etihad took removed all references to “Environmental advocacy” from their paid Google search ads in the UK.

This is the second time this year, that Etihad has been pulled up for ‘greenwashing’ by the ASA.

In April, the airlines was asked to take down two facebook ads over similar sustainability claims. 

The ASA also banned paid Google ads from other major airlines on the same grounds.

Lufthansa and Air France were also asked to take down their ads.

Air France claimed that it  is “committed to protecting the environment: travel better and sustainably”, while Lufthansa used the words “fly more sustainable”.