Via the International Herald Tribune, another stroke of regulatory genius from the folks in Brussels, the same people who brought mind-boggling horticultural rules on banana curvature to the continent's green grocers:
The European Parliament proposed last Wednesday that car advertisements in the European Union carry tobacco-style labels, warning of the environmental impact they cause. Under the plan, 20 percent of the space or time of any auto ad would have to be set aside for information on a car's fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, cited as a contributor to global climate change.
As could be expected from the bureaucrat-heavy EU, such a measure (proposed by the European Parliament and only enforceable by the European Commission) is likely to languish in some obscure committee. The measure was meant, says EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas, as "a warning shot across the bow." The auto industry is taking the hint:
Still, automakers and their ad agencies are taking the matter seriously, for fear that cars might go the way of tobacco or junk food. Cigarette advertising has been almost entirely stubbed out across Europe, and several countries have placed restrictions on ads for unhealthy fare.
Automakers account for more than €6 billion, or $8.6 billion, a year in annual ad spending in Western Europe, according to the European Association of Communications Agencies, a trade organization based in Brussels for the marketing industry. Lobbyists argue that some of that could dry up, hurtingcarmakers, ad agencies and media owners, if marketers were required to place a prominent environmental warning in their ads.
Full story here.