France has banned this electric bike announcement to create a “climate of anxiety”


Dutch electric bicycle company VanMoof published a television commercial on electric bikes entitled “Time to Ride the Future”, which was broadcast in the Netherlands and Germany without controversy. But the advertising regulatory group of the Professional Advertising Regulation Authority (ARPP) banned the advertisement because it declared that it created a “climate of anxiety”.The French advertising code prohibits the exploitation of fear and suffering in advertisements. ARPP President St├ęphane Martin said in a letter to VanMoof:

We cannot afford to denigrate sectors of activity.

Certain images present in the reflections of the car appear, in our opinion, disproportionate and discredit the entire automotive sector.

Images of factories, chimneys and collisions create a scary climate. They must therefore be modified.

VanMoof founder Taco Carlier replied that France prohibited advertising his business on electric bikes:

It is surprising that car manufacturers are allowed to cover their environmental problems while censoring those who question this problem.

The television ad had aired two weeks earlier in the Netherlands and Germany. There, the spot was well received by the public. In the ad, the cars reflect the rat race of the past, inviting viewers to rethink their modes of transportation in the city for a cleaner, greener future.

Challenging the status quo will always lead to confrontation, but we wanted to do it from the start.

You can watch the announcement here:

Capture of Electrek

The ARPP will have a set of standards to follow and will try to be consistent across the board because that is what regulators should (should) do. I will give them the point of accidents; this doesn’t really seem directly relevant to electric bikes, as passengers who get on or in any vehicle can crash.

But pictures of factories and chimneys should create anxiety. Because ICE vehicles have something in common with factories and chimneys, and that is fossil fuels. And France knows it: its objective is to be the leading European producer of electric vehicles by increasing production to more than a million electric and hybrid cars per year over the next five years, according to President Emmanuel Macron.

So if you pay attention to the fact that fossil fuel emissions cause premature death, it’s scary – and it’s real. Laundering will not change this fact.

Do you think France should have banned this announcement? Let us know in the comments below.

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