Prof’s challenge of ‘misleading’ climate change advert dismissed

2013-03-15 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s advertising watchdog has dismissed a complaint lodged by a professor who objected to a government advert blaming drought on climate change.

The advert stemmed from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 17th Conference of the Parties in Durban in 2012.

The Department of Environmental Affairs produced advertising content at the time, including one advert which depicted a desert-like landscape under the heading “More climate change means less water”.

Professor Philip Lloyd, of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, objected, saying the advertisement was dishonest, misleading, unsubstantiated and inaccurate.

His complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) was dismissed, however.

This week, department spokesperson Albi Modise said the advertising campaign was meant raise awareness of climate change during the COP event.

“The advertisement in question appeared in most mainstream newspapers across the country during 2012, conveying the message that the country must take action against climate change now to avoid serious consequences on our water systems in the future,” said Modise.

But Lloyd was defiant yesterday, saying he “knew this to be false for several reasons — the weather service looked at our rainfall patterns some years ago, and failed to find any trends, even though it has been warming for the past 150 years”.

He said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report on extreme events, and its findings were inconclusive.

“I myself have looked at quite a lot of our rainfall data, and can also find no evidence for any trends. I have even published a paper on the statistics of rainfall to aid those looking for trends,” said Lloyd.

He said that in its response, the ASA had said, in effect, it believed it was in the public interest to allow the department to publish such claims even though they were not literally true.

“I think it raises an interesting point, and could change the face of South African advertising/propaganda if allowed to go unchallenged,” said Lloyd.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.