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Complaint about Toyota hybrid ad thrown out

The advertising watchdog has rejected a complaint about a Toyota advert in which the complainant said viewers were misled about the car’s green credentials.

The press ad for Toyota Prius with Hybrid Synergy Drive said: “Charge while braking… Why waste energy in today's world? Cars usually waste energy every time they brake. Hybrid Synergy Drive, on the other hand, captures that wasted energy and saves it to the battery to be used later."

The complainant challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that Hybrid Synergy Drive recovered all the energy from braking, whereas he believed only some of the energy was recovered.

But the Advertising Standards Watchdog (ASA) supported Toyota’s argument that it had sought guidance on wording from the CAP copy advice team and that the ad did not use absolute words such as “entirely” or “totally”.

Toyota added that the ad was intended to give readers wider knowledge of the technology that was helping cars to become more efficient.

ASA considered readers were unlikely to infer from the ad that Hybrid Synergy Drive recovered all the energy from braking and concluded the ad was unlikely to mislead.

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