DON'T MISLEAD OUR CHILDREN
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that advertisements created on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and based on the children's poems 'Jack and Jill' and 'Rub-A-Dub-Dub' made exaggerated claims about the threat to Britain from global warming.
The ruling is a further blow to the Government's efforts to raise awareness of the threat of global warming following the "climategate" scandal and questions about the United Nations's presentation of the risks of global warming.
Two posters juxtaposed adapted extracts from the nursery rhymes with prose warnings about the dangers of global warning.
One began: "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. There was none as extreme weather due to climate change had caused a drought." Beneath was written: "Extreme weather conditions such as flooding, heat waves and storms will become more frequent and intense."
Ed Gillespie, the co-founder of Futerra Sustainability Communications, said it was "rubbish communication" that has given climate change sceptics another opportunity to cast doubt on the science.
In definitely asserting that climate change would cause flooding and drought the adverts went beyond mainstream scientific consensus, the watchdog said.
It noted that predictions about the potential global impact of global warming made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) "involved uncertainties" that the adverts failed to reflect.
The second advert read: "Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub — a necessary course of action due to flash flooding caused by climate change.” It was captioned: “Climate change is happening. Temperature and sea levels are rising. Extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heat waves will become more frequent and intense. If we carry on at this rate, life in 25 years could be very different.”
Upholding complaints from members of the public, the ASA said that in both instances the text accompanying the rhymes should have been couched in softer language.
The watchdog found that the other elements of the campaign, including a television and cinema advert in which a father read his daughter a nightmarish bedtime story about a world blighted by climate change, did not breach its guidelines.
Ed Miliband, the Environment Secretary, said that that his department had been "comprehensively vindicated" by the ASA but promised to better reflect scientific uncertainty about global warming in future campaigns.
(From the Daily Telegraph)
P.S. My heading picture ( from http://grumpyoldtwat.blogspot.com ) is a cynical adaptation of the original government 'Bedtime Story" ad.