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ASA orders changes to Vauxhall Ampera advert claiming it is an extended electric car

Date: 21 May 2014

Vauxhall's parent company, General Motors, has been told by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) to change a TV advert promoting its Ampera as an extended range electric car.

The move was confirmed following viewer complaints that challenged a statement within the ad that it had range capability of up to 360 miles - which it achieves through part use of a petrol engine.

According to General Motors, since the launch of the Ampera in 2012, the public's understanding of electric cars had improved significantly, arguing that they would not have been confused by its description of the car as being extended range electric.

However, in its ruling, the ASA upheld the viewers concerns over the advert on the basis that information on its petrol engine usage was not stated clearly enough.

Its statement read:  "We noted the small print of the advert explained that the extended range was achieved by a petrol engine generating electricity, but considered that it was not sufficiently prominent to remove the overall impression of the ad that the Ampera was a pure battery electric vehicle and therefore the 360-mile range would be achieved by electricity alone.

"Because that was not the case, we concluded that the claim "Compared to other electric cars the Ampera, with up to 360-mile range" was ambiguous and gave a misleading impression of the car's capabilities.

The ASA concluded that the advert should not be shown again in its present format.