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Global Economy

"You'd better walk" – France has car advertising with instructions

In France, car advertising must in future carry information about ecological alternatives. For example, it must say: "For short distances, it's better to walk or ride your bike!" The rule applies to printed advertisements as well as commercials on radio and television – and is intended to encourage people to leave their cars at home every now and then .

    In France, car advertising must in future carry information about ecological alternatives. For example, it must say: "For short distances, it's better to walk or ride your bike!" The rule applies to printed advertisements as well as commercials on radio and television – and is intended to encourage people to leave their cars at home every now and then.

The French state likes to address its consumers directly. Advertisements for food there have had to carry references to a balanced diet for 15 years. "In the interest of your health, eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day," reads there, for example. Or: "In the interests of your health, do not snack between meals!" From March 1 of this year, it will also be the turn of the car buyers.

Car advertising in France must in future refer to more environmentally friendly alternatives to driving. A corresponding decree has just been published in the French legal gazette, the "Journal Officiel".

One of the following three references must appear in future advertisements and commercials:

"It's better to walk or cycle for short distances!", "Remember to carpool!", "Use public transport every day!"

    "For short distances, walk or cycle instead!""Remember to carpool!""Use public transport every day!"

In addition, the notices must be provided with the hashtag #SeDéplacerMoinsPolluer – which could be loosely translated as #SichForbewegLessPolluer.

The rules apply to print and online ads, as well as TV and radio commercials. In the case of image advertisements, the notice must take up at least seven percent of the advertising space, and in the case of television commercials, it must be displayed long enough to be legible. The saying is read out on the radio after the spot.

If companies repeatedly violate this rule and omit the information, penalties of up to 50,000 or 100,000 euros are threatened in extreme cases.

"In order to make the transport sector more climate-friendly, it is not enough to switch to the electric motor. It is also about using public transport or the bike if possible," wrote France's Environment Minister Barbara Pompili on Twitter.

Idea comes from town hall meeting

The state traditionally has a much stronger position in France than in Germany. This can also be seen in the corona pandemic: President Emmanuel Macron recently said that he wanted to "annoy the unvaccinated to the bitter end".

So is the state now also annoying potential car buyers? That may be the case, but the idea for the advertising ban did not come from Macron or his environment minister. As the magazine "L'Automobile" reports, it goes back to a suggestion that came up at a citizens' meeting on climate policy. In 2020, 150 French people collected ideas that the country could use to achieve its climate goals. (fab)

Sources used:

Légifrance.gouv.fr: Journal officiel électronique authentifié n° 0302 du 29/12/2021, Twitter account of Barbara Pompili, Automobile-magazine.fr: La publicité automobile va devoir encourager les autres modes de déplacement

    Légifrance.gouv.fr: Journal officiel électronique authentifié n° 0302 du 29/12/2021Twitter account of Barbara PompiliAutomobile-magazine.fr: La publicité automobile va devoir encourager les autres modes de déplacement

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