Cœurs et esprits: France passes law mandating eco-positive messaging in car ads

Paris, France — A new French law is taking a similar tack to modern tobacco and alcohol messaging, mandating that automakers include disclaimers that mention the environmental benefits of cycling, carpooling and public transit.

As of March 1, all ads from car companies will be required to include one of the following phrases: “For short journeys, walk or cycle,” “think about carpooling” and “take public transport daily.” This new law includes, but is not limited to, billboards, TV, radio, print, and online advertisements.

The law specifies that the messages be “easily identifiable and distinct” and spoken after the ad is finished.

A €50,000 ($72,140) fine will be charged for non-compliance.

“Decarbonizing transportation is not only switching to electric vehicles,”  tweeted Barbara Pompili, France’s Minister for Ecological Transition. “It’s also using, when possible, public transit or bicycles.”

In 2020, Pompili passed a weight tax law on vehicles weighing more than 1,800 kilograms, with a tax rate of an additional 10 euros per kilogram.

“The weight tax that we’re creating sends a strong and necessary message to take into account the environmental impact of the heaviest vehicles,” Pompili said.



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