The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in England has dismissed complaints against a Mitsubishi television advert for misleading consumers by over-playing the electric aspect of its Outlander PHEV SUV.
The ASA received two complaints that a Mitsubishi advertisement for their plug-in hybrid “.. misleadingly implied that the car was mainly electric when they understood it primarily relied on petrol”. But the ASA has dismissed the claim.
In the advertisement, a voiceover states: “What is the new Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid? It’s electric and petrol power combined. It’s electric and a practical SUV. It’s electric and 4 wheel drive. It’s electric and delivers up to 159 miles per gallon. New Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. It’s electric and more. Drive your ambition. Mitsubishi Motors.”
Accordingly, Mitsubishi said that the beginning of the ad informed viewers that the vehicle was a plug-in hybrid vehicle. The company said that the ad answered that question with the line “It’s electric and petrol power combined”, apparently informing consumers of the benefits of both electric and petrol power.
Furthermore, Mitsubishi said that the name of the vehicle included the acronym PHEV, which informs consumers of the vehicle category and avoided the confusion that the vehicle was purely electric.
Although the ASA dismissed the claim, in their ruling, they also said that they understood why the complaints were made because of the repeated emphasis in the voice-over on the phrase: “it’s electric” implying that the vehicle was fully electric rather than a hybrid vehicle.