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More than eighty people filed a complaint against KLM this week with the Advertising Law Commission, according to KSA. As with Shell, which was previously reprimanded for ads with the slogan “CO2-neutral driving,” applicants want KLM to stop advertising CO2-neutral flying through the CO2ZERO program. “KLM cannot guarantee that CO2 emissions will be offset from the flight,” said Eric Stamm, the complainant’s initiator, Eric Stamm, and the complainants called KLM’s claims misleading.
The complaint was also signed by Member of Parliament Lammert van Rijn (PvdD), researcher and writer Babbitt Porcellin and the Citizens’ Movement for Advertising Vossilvrej.
For 10 euros you can make up for your trip to Rio de Janeiro
When passengers book a flight with KLM, they can voluntarily pay a few extra euros for the airline’s CO2ZERO programme. For example, according to KLM, you can offset the CO2 you emit from a flight from Amsterdam to Rome for 1.86 euros and offset the CO2 from a flight to Rio de Janeiro for 10 euros. Like Shell, KLM promises to plant new trees with the money, in this case in Panama.
Trees only absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide after about sixty years
Researcher Babbitt Porcelain
KLM states that a passenger on a flight from Amsterdam to Panama can offset the CO2 of more than €10. They grow trees for this, which only absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide after about sixty years. But according to author and researcher Babbitt Porcelain, the actual costs of CO2 offset are much higher. According to its calculations, it will cost 2,800 euros per passenger using the latest economy aircraft. And up to 4,500 euros with older aircraft models.
Possible ban on advertising of excavations in Utrecht and Alkmaar
There are increasing voices to ban commercials for the fossil fuel industry (as well as air travel and new gasoline-powered cars). In Amsterdam, such ads are no longer allowed in the metro and in The Hague they will soon be banned from bus and tram compartments. Soon there will be a vote in Utrecht to ban such advertisements in public places, such as billboards along the highway. The Alkmaar Council will also vote this next week and a motion was passed in Leiden to reduce advertising.
At the national level, there is also growing support for a ban on advertising of fossils. GroenLinks, Labor (PvdA), Party of Animals (PvdD), ChristenUnie (CU), SP, BIJ1 and Volt all endorse it in any case, and D66 and CDA say they are not directly negative about it. The only question is how it works. “General ban is easier said than done, you’ll have to define it,” said CDA’s Henri Bontenbal. “How do you deal with gasoline-powered cars, for example? How do you deal with (transition) relatively clean fuel?”
Greenpeace is now fossil-free, along with citizen movement announcements Launch a European campaign, which you can also sign. Through the citizens’ initiative, they are trying to collect a million signatures within a year, in order to put a ban on fossil advertising on the European Commission’s agenda.
The Guardian and Swedish newspapers stop advertising fossils
The English Guardian and two Swedish newspapers recently announced that they would no longer publish advertisements from fossil energy companies. In the Netherlands, the chance of this happening is lower.
Trouw, who has a sustainable image as a newspaper, tells through parent company DPG Media that editorial sales and advertising are completely separate from one another. A DPG Media spokesperson said, “DPG Media does not make a choice as to which advertisers to approve or reject, as that would be a political position.” “Holiday trips and supermarket offerings for meat and car ads are not considered problematic or undesirable by the government or the Advertising Law Commission.”
NRC, which writes branded content for Shell and BMW, among others, has no intention of stopping. “The NRC does not use advertising policy to take a position in the public debate. Thus, these companies can advertise with us, just like their critics,” says Editor-in-Chief Renee Morland. It also notes that “branded content” is written by the advertising department, not the newspaper’s editors.
More and more complaints about sustainability claims
If the Advertising Code Committee now also rebukes KLM’s CO2 claims after Shell, the petitioners also want to address other airlines’ CO2 claims. For example, the airline EasyJet claims carbon dioxide compensation for flights. The Advertising Code Committee is seeing more and more complaints about sustainability, according to a spokesperson. The committee is currently working on extending the Environmental Advertising Act, which should result in a sustainable advertising code.
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