The UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has upheld three complaints leveled against campaigners opposed to a Yorkshire wind farm, forcing the withdrawal of adverts criticising the project.
“The ad must not appear again in its current form,” said the ASA in their findings. “We told Bridwindfarm not to make claims unless they could be substantiated with robust evidence.”
The ads were featured in the Bridlington Free Press opposing a wind farm application at Fraisthorpe. Part of the advert featured in the circular claimed the following;
“Did you know an application has been submitted to erect 9 wind turbines at Fraisthorpe, which will dominate Bridlington Bay for decades to come? The natural beauty of the coastline will be ruined forever if planning permission is granted. The turbines will be 427 feet tall, which is 5 times higher than Flamborough Lighthouse and will dwarf the existing ones at Lissett.”
TCI Renewables, the developer of the proposed 27-MW Fraisthorpe wind farm, challenged whether:
- the images in ads (a) and (b) accurately represented the visual effects of the proposed wind farm;
- the claims about the height of the turbines in ads (a) and (b) could be substantiated; and
- the claim “The natural beauty of the coastline will be ruined forever if planning permission is granted” in ad (a) was misleading.
The ASA responded by saying that the advertising was both misleading and that the claims they made could not be substantiated with any proof.
This is a great result, not for the financial benefit of TCI, but rather in combating the negative sentiments so often and willfully spread by anti-wind-farm campaigners. My personal pet-peeve is the regular claims that wind turbines will affect “the natural beauty of the coastline,” given that, in my opinion, they barely intrude at all and, when they do, there is a certain knowledge displayed in their existence that is very natural; we’re generating renewable natural energy, after all.
Image Source: SandMonster on Flickr
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