Anti-Wind Farm Campaign Ad Banned for Misleading Public

wind turbine debate

The anti-wind turbine campaigning body, ‘Communities Against Windfarms in Scotland’, has come in for criticism from the advertising watchdog for running an ad which depicts what the Scottish landscape might look like if it were strewn with rusting, inoperative wind turbines.

The ad, which was placed in various regional press outlets, features images of broken turbines set against an abysmal looking grey sky, above which the legend ‘Welcome to Scotland’ is emblazoned. The controversy arises from the fact the picture is not actually of Scotland, but Hawaii.

The campaigning body was forced to admit that the photo was not taken in Scotland following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority by Scottish Renewables. The group argued that their chosen image was intended to be ‘illustrative’ rather than misleading.

The turbines pictured were actually built 25 years ago and have been decommissioned for more than half a decade. The particular model of wind turbine featured in the ads is not going to be used in Scotland at all.

The ad was consequently banned by the ASA, who also pointed to the fact that the campaign made claims that Scottish government is planning to build 8,750 turbines, when in fact their policy document states that their might be 5,645 onshore and offshore turbines by 2020.

This is not the first time that the ASA has been moved to ban inaccurate ads placed by anti wind farm campaigners. Just last month the Anglesey Anti Wind Turbine (AAWT) group had an ad banned for depicting wind turbines significantly different to those being proposed whilst protesting against plans for a site in Wales.

Green Steve’s Reaction

I’ve said previously that I am in favour of wind farms and actually find them quite pleasing to look at so I am, unsurprisingly, pleased that the ASA has banned the use of these inflammatory and inaccurate images.

I have read some fairly well written arguments against wind energy such as this one recently in the Daily Mail which focuses on the health issues associated with turbines and I do think this needs to be investigated further. I guess offshore wind is one way around such health ramifications.

Regardless, misleading the public like the two campaigns above have is not a conducive way to get your point across.

Steve (156 Posts)

I am chief writer and editor on Green Steve. Blogging since 2011, I like to delve into a wide number of topics to help people reduce their carbon footprint. You should follow me on Twitter here. And add me to your Google+ circles here.

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