Sadiq Khan Accused of Misleading Public with ULEZ Advertisements

London Mayor Sadiq Khan alongside a depiction of disputed ULEZ advertisements, highlighting the ongoing ASA investigation into misleading claims about air quality improvements.

Advertising Standards Authority Draft Report Challenges Validity of London Mayor’s ULEZ Claims

A political storm is brewing in London following revelations from a draft report by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The report accuses London Mayor Sadiq Khan of misleading the public about the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) benefits. The ASA initiated an investigation into claims made by Transport for London (TfL) in its advertisements promoting the ULEZ expansion across London boroughs on August 29.

The contentious advertisements, aired between January and June, boasted that the ULEZ in central London had nearly halved nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels and claimed that most air pollution-related deaths occur in outer London. However, the ASA’s draft findings, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, argue that these adverts were deceptive. The report states that the claims were not based on actual data but rather on estimated or modelled scenarios, a detail not clarified in the adverts.

“In the absence of qualifying information, consumers were likely to understand that the claims were based on actual figures, not estimates or modelled scenarios,” the investigators noted, adding that this implied a nearly 50% reduction in NO2 concentrations.

The leak of this draft report, which is still subject to potential amendments and ratification before official publication, has sparked a significant debate. TfL, anticipating the final report, plans to “strongly challenge” these draft conclusions. A TfL spokesperson defended their position, stating, “The science is clear about the harmful impact of air pollution on health, especially in outer London. We are confident in the accuracy of our advertisement.”

The ASA has refrained from commenting on the leaked document, but sources indicate that the final ruling is yet to be issued and could differ from the draft. The final verdict is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

This development has garnered significant attention, with over 578 people contacting the ASA, alleging that TfL exaggerated the ULEZ’s impact on improving air quality. As London waits for the final word from the ASA, this issue highlights the delicate balance between environmental advocacy and the need for transparent, factual advertising. Story Source

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