Hyundai’s ‘So Clean It Purifies The Air’ Ad Has Been Banned

The Advertising Standards Authority has made the decision to ban one of Hyundai’s advertisements in which it’s claimed its Nexo model is ‘so clean it purifies the air’…

Hyundai Ad Banned 

Would you buy a car that’s ‘so clean it purifies the air’? Who wouldn’t, you’d be sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle capable of warding off the Climate Crisis itself. Unfortunately, no such vehicle exists; which is precisely why Hyundai’s gotten itself into a bit of trouble. With its hydrogen-powered Nexo model, it claims to have made “a car so beautifully clean, it purifies the air as it goes”. Unfortunately, the Advertising Standards Agency determined that the claim could not be substantiated.

The authority noted that, whilst the Nexo doesn’t release exhaust fumes like an ICE vehicle, it still produces pollution via its tyres and braking system.

Hydrogen Debates 

Hyundai challenged the ASA’s reasoning. It argued that ‘a clean supply of air was essential to provide the oxygen in order for the fuel cell to operate, because the air contained gases and particles that would damage the fuel cell’. In addition, it claimed that the Nexo’s air filter removes 97% of fine dust and gases; including nitrous oxides and sulphur dioxide. It also suggested that the car’s filter may include fine particulates from its tyres, as well as from other vehicles.

The ASA disagreed, maintaining that the ad was misleading. It stated that it ‘understood particulates from brake and type wear would still be released into the air and would not necessarily be removed by the car; unless they happened to pass through its air filtration system’. It concluded, ‘we understood that particulates from brake and tyre wear were a significant source of air pollution from vehicle use’.

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