Friends of the Earth have been censured for their erroneous and misleading promotional flyer. The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said Friends of the Earth “agreed not to repeat the claims, or claims that had the same meaning.”
Friends of the Earth spent more than a year trying to defend its claims, which were made in a fundraising leaflet, but has been forced to withdraw them.
The authority found that Friends of the Earth (FoE) failed to substantiate claims that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate water supplies, increase asthma rates and send house prices plummeting.
The group’s capitulation is a victory for a retired vicar and a retired physics teacher who have been working for years to expose what they believe is scaremongering about a safe technique for extracting shale gas. (More about them in the footnote)
Truth in Climate Advertising! What a Concept!!
Who’s next? What about Greenpeace:
Greenpeace have been accused of employing deceptive techniques after it was revealed the environmental group had been using images of a storm damaged coral reef in The Philippines as a part of its campaign to have the Great Barrier Reef declared at risk.
On the left is a picture of bright, vibrant and thriving coral, while the image on the right features a pile of damaged, bone-white coral with a warning: ‘Don’t let them turn this, into this.’
Upon completing further research, it was discovered the image of the damaged reef was taken at Apo Island’s marine sanctuary in The Philippines, which was severely damaged by two typhoons in the past four years. From the Daily Mail article
Greenpeace slammed for using photo of storm-ravaged Philippines coral in new ad claiming government is putting Great Barrier Reef under threat.
How about the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
Shouldn’t they be forced to add this disclaimer:
Friends of the Earth are making up stuff. Friends of Science give you the Beef:
The UK Advertising Standards Authority did not have the brass to do their job protecting the public against deceptions. It took significant prodding from two determined people: a vicar and a retired school teacher.
They had previously complained to the Charity commission, who found a way to stand down rather than stand up.
The Charity Commission is considering closing a loophole in charity law that allowed a green group to raise money by making allegedly false claims in a political campaign against fracking.
Friends of the Earth, a registered charity, avoided restrictions on political activity by claiming that its antifracking campaign was being carried out by a non-charitable company called Friends of the Earth Limited.
The commission said the use of such similar names could confuse the public and damage public trust in charities.
Mr Wilkinson, who said that he had no connection with the fracking industry and was acting purely to ensure the public received accurate information, welcomed the ASA ruling. “It is outrageous that FoE used false information to raise money,” he said. “We need a frank debate about fracking and its potential impacts but it should be based on facts, not scaremongering.”
The Rev. Michael Roberts tells the full story in his article How Fiendish is Friends of the Earth which includes this amusing rebuttal: