Shell Adverts Banned Over Misleading Claims


The United Kingdom advertising watchdog, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a video advert and billboard campaign from Shell over misleading claims about how clean its overall energy production is.

The ban applies to one TV advert, a poster displayed in Bristol and a YouTube ad, all shown in 2022.

 ASA ruled on Wednesday that the adverts left out information on Shell’s more polluting work with fossil fuels, adding that the adverts cannot be shown in their current form again,

Shell said it “strongly” disagreed with the ASA’s findings.

BBC report that Shell had stated that the ads were intended to raise awareness of the lower emissions energy products and services it is investing more money in.


The ASA ruled that the YouTube advert incorrectly gave the impression that low-carbon energy products made up a significant proportion of Shell’s energy products, when in fact they did not.

Shell said that people who saw the adverts would already be well-informed of its operations and would mainly associate the brand with petrol sales.

But the ASA said the selection of ads were likely to mislead consumers as they “misrepresented the contribution that lower-carbon initiatives played, or would play in the near future” compared with the rest of the company’s operations.

One of the banned advertisements was a poster shown in Bristol, with the text “Bristol is ready for cleaner energy”. It included text quoting the number of homes in the South West of England which used renewable electricity. The ASA ruled the poster was misleading because it gave the impression that Shell as a whole was providing cleaner energy.

“We also considered that the emphasis the ads placed on “Ready”, implied that lower-carbon energy products, like those shown in the ads, already comprised a significant proportion of the energy products Shell invested in and sold in the UK, or were likely to do so in the near future,” the ASA said.

A spokesperson for Shell said the ASA’s decision “could slow the UK’s drive towards renewable energy”.

“No energy transition can be successful if people are not aware of the alternatives available to them. That is what our adverts set out to show, and that is why we’re concerned by this short-sighted decision,” the spokesperson added. BBC.