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Greenpeace rapped over misleading fracking claims

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Green group calls watchdog "bonkers" and "biased" after it upholds a complaint over fracking advert

An advert by Greenpeace saying fracking won’t cut energy prices has been deemed misleading by the UK’s advertising watchdog.

The advert claimed “experts agree – (fracking) won’t cut our energy bills” - backing this up with 22 quotes from experts.

However the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found the campaign group had breached advertising standards by presenting the argument as fact.

“We understood that there was a significant division of informed opinion on the issue, demonstrated, for example, by the quotes provided by Greenpeace from the prime minister,” the ruling said.

ASA also noted that the examples provided backing up Greenpeace’s claim did not all categorically state that fracking “would not reduce the cost of energy bills”.

However in response Greenpeace UK energy and climate campaigner Louise Hutchins said there had been a conflict of interest on the council.

Chris Smith, former Environment Agency chief and now chair of the ASA council, has recently been appointed as the head of a fracking industry-funded shale gas task force.

She said that as former Smith was chairing the council, the decision was “biased.”

“An authority led by a fracking advocate has ruled in favour of a pro-fracking lord merely on the basis of the opinion of an avowedly pro-fracking prime minister.

“This decision is baseless, biased, and frankly bonkers,” she said.

Asa said Smith had not taken part in the ruling.



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