Luton Airport’s pro-expansion adverts just got called out for what they are – greenwash! 

The UK’s advertising watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), has banned adverts for Luton Airport for misleading the public over the climate impacts of its proposed expansion. The adverts promoted the airport’s ‘green growth’ plans with the slogan: “If we miss our environmental limits, our expansion will be stopped in its tracks”. 

But they did not mention that these environmental limits failed to include the extra emissions from flights, which made up more than 80% of Luton’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. 

In April, Adfree Cities, Badvertising, Stay Grounded, Possible, and a number of local airport expansion opposition groups submitted complaints about the adverts. This landmark decision, the first to ban UK airport ads for making false green claims, shows that these complaints are an effective way to fight greenwash – the truth will out! You can read the full decision on the ASA website and find out the background to the story on the DeSmog website. 

Earlier this year, a Dutch court ruled against KLM and the European Commission is taking action against 20 airlines for misleading greenwashing practices. 

Let’s push for a complete ban on airline advertising! Sign up to join Stay Grounded’s campaign today.

Image source: Flickr/Av Håkan Dahlstrøm, London Luton Airport, 2024