Watchdog bans Nissan Leaf advert for 'misleading' charging time claims

Ad didn’t state charging time variables clearly enough


THE ADVERTISING Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advert from Nissan that highlighted what it called unrealistic recharging times for the car maker’s Leaf electric hatchback.

According to the regulator, the original online ad on Nissan’s UK website claimed the Leaf could “get up to 80% charge in as little as 40 minutes” when its batteries were being recharged by a rapid charger”. Three complainants took issue with the claims, and forwarded their concerns to the watchdog.

In its assessment, the ASA determined the advert was “likely to mislead” potential buyers about the Leaf’s charging capabilities, as it didn’t make it clear enough that factors such as battery temperature could affect the recharging time.

The judgement noted Nissan’s placement of small print that explained these variables at the bottom of the web page. As the footnotes weren’t prominent in the advert, the ASA argued “consumers who read [the footnotes] were likely to expect that those factors only had a nominal effect on the charging times”.

Nissan reviewed and update the advert, so that it emphasised owners could get “20 to 80% charge in around 60 minutes” when using a fast charger. However, as the footnotes were still placed further down the web page, the ASA said the advert “did not clearly convey the degree of variability in the time that may be required to deliver a certain amount of charge”.

Based on these findings, the ASA concluded the Nissan Leaf recharging claims were in breach of the watchdog’s marketing material guidelines, and prohibited Nissan from using the advert in the UK in that format.

The ASA also instructed Nissan to “ensure that their future advertising made clear the degree of variability in the time that may be required to deliver a certain amount of charge”.

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