Warnings on Car Ads: As goes California, so goes the European Union?

Breaking News Dept.

In our hourly pimple analysis [that is, “what brings readers to our blob” –ed.] we occasionally come across quirky facts (see “Do You Feel Lucky” at right). Strangely, for example, a search for “Jack Lakey” and “smasher of dreams” yields all of three hits. Who’d a thunk? But more than that, a search on Google.ca yields different hits than one on Google.com. Try it with the phrase “car advertisements.”

Now that’s a laugh riot.

Interestingly, it’s on Google.ca that the “car advertisement” search turned up a link to a story in the New York Times and Car Advertiser from a month ago, that we’d missed. Darn. Fact is, we’ve been lax in our hegemony factor lately.

Bad Torontonian! Bad! New York Times and Car Advertiser important! Riverdale/East York Mirror and Car Advertiser unimportant!

We didn’t miss the story in the San Francisco Chronicle and Car Advertiser from 2006, the one that called for a ban on TV car commercials but neglected to consider the car ads that paid the writer that day.

And we didn’t miss the one from the Globe and Mail and Car Advertiser that told how Norway’s parliament had outlawed the depiction of any car as “green” or “ecologically friendly” in advertising.

But somehow the Times piece slipped through our sticky fingers.

Dateline: October 28. London: Eric Pfanner reports:

The European Parliament proposed last Wednesday that car advertisements in the European Union carry tobacco-style labels, warning of the environmental impact they cause.

Under the plan, 20 percent of the space or time of any auto ad would have to be set aside for information on a car’s fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, cited as a contributor to global climate change.

greenpeace car warning label click for warning

Now, as Pfanner’s story makes clear, this is not a guarantee that car ads will soon carry the warning labels. It’s not the EU Parliament, by some freakish quirk, that makes law in the EU. That duty is left to sommat called the “European Commission.”

But it’s a step closer to the inevitable, as we see it: a time when the right to freely promote a machine in whose tailwind the global crisis blows (and grows) is questioned, and eventually seriously curtailed.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.