back to article We're not the 'world leader' in electric cars, Nissan insists

"World leaders in 100 per cent electric since 2010," Nissan boasted about itself in a recent advert. But does that mean the world leader (as in number one) or a world leader (nowhere near number one)? According to Nissan, it's the latter. Someone far more devoted to pedantry thought it necessary to complain to the Advertising …

  1. Stretch

    I disagree with the ASA here. If my CV reads "Programmer since 1992" I don't think anyone will think I am the only programmer in the world.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Yes, but did you put it as "leader in programming worldwide since 1992" in it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What they need to do in future is to say "*acclaimed* world leader", and then show one article where some journo has called them a world leader, and they're off the hook.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge


          "Voted "World Leader" in latest mag we made ourselves". Oh, I may have missed something, but the way things are going, perhaps they will take a punt at Global Domination like everyone else seems to be.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            If it was good enough for Carlsberg...

            Insert the word "probably"

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      If their ad had said "manufacturer of electric cars since 2010", there wouldn't have been a problem. Saying they were a world leader in it was the problem.

  2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Article on electric cars

    Shows the Juke Nismo RS.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Cuddles Silver badge


    "Nissan then quoted figures from... the UK"

    Maybe I'm missing something, but quoting figures from a single country to defend your claim of being the best (or even just one of the best) in the whole world doesn't really seem like much of a defence.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ASA has no legal powers

    The funny thing about the ASA is that it is a private company with no powers of enforcement. Anyone on the end of an ASA 'judgement' can legally ignore them and continue.

    Most advertising companies and those that use them end up do observe the rulings since they can end up on an unofficial blacklist and sent to Coventry within the industry.

    Where it does get interesting is with smaller companies and individuals, especially with promotional web pages. If the ASA strikes against them, they can just ignore it. This doesn't give carte blanche to such people since if what they're promoting falls foul of trading standards legislation they can be prosecuted. But there's a small number of people who find that an ASA ruling against them is based on the strict interpretation of rules set by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP - a murkier sister organisation) which tend to be militantly orthodox and don't brook alternative opinions on certain topics.

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: ASA has no legal powers

      Just like the Portman Group for booze. But beware such organisations that claim to be the independent overseers of their ilk... the ACPO was another one of these organisations and effectively drove policy on policing in this country until someone pointed out that it was not under government oversight (despite the chair of it claiming they'd happily submit to FOIA), and an independent review by the new PCCs then recommended it be folded into a council that *is* subject to review by government/the PCCs.

      1. AndyS

        Re: ASA has no legal powers

        > Just like the Portman Group for booze.

        Ah yes. And our favourite Scottish brewery has shown exactly how sharp their teeth are, with statements such as:

        On behalf of BrewDog PLC and its 14,691 individual shareholders, I would like to issue a formal apology to the Portman Group for not giving a shit about today’s ruling. Indeed, we are sorry for never giving a shit about anything the Portman Group has to say, and treating all of its statements with callous indifference and nonchalance.

        1. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: ASA has no legal powers

          @AndyS, quite. I applauded Brewdog for that big fat middle finger in the Portman Group's general direction when they issued that press release.


    2. Michael Strorm

      Re: ASA has no legal powers

      "the ads must not appear again in their current form"

      Exactly the same. Every. F*****. Time.

      As I've said before in similar form on numerous occasions:-

      "The ASA... ah, yes. The advertising industry's self-regulation chocolate teapot, "that ad campaign which you ran several months ago and is long since finished anyway was misleading and shouldn't appear again in that form, which is irrelevant since you've long since replaced it with some other misleading ads instead. Also here's a token rebuke"

      In fact, this is so tediously formulaic that I just cut and pasted my previous comment observing that I'm just rehashing my own previous comments on the matter now... :-/

      (That said, this case is more nitpicky and less an example of outright advertising bulls**t than some of the other examples).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ASA has no legal powers

      It's a show of self-regulation in order to avoid actual regulation.

      In the US the video game industry created the privately run ESRB rating system in order to stop the federal gov from weighing in on violent or sexually explicit video games. Game developers voluntarily have their games rated. Most "reputable" retailers agree to sell only ESRB rated titles. Parents happy because they can decide if a game is suitable for little Billy just by looking at a symbol on the box. The government is happy because the parents are off their backs on the issue. Kids aren't happy, but who cares because they don't have money.

    4. Trigonoceps occipitalis

      Re: ASA has no legal powers

      Any teeth (more like gums) that the ASA has rely on the press. If they issue the famous "this advert shall ... " etc and it is ignored then, if the company involved issues substantially the same advert they lay themselves open to a savaging in the press - Nissan Ignore ASA!

      Of course there is the adage that no publicity is bad publicity and there could be an element of collusion; the newspaper/TV Station driving viewers up whilst increasing the name recognition of the offending company. Perhaps a dangerous game for the company because the campaign started by the newspaper could just become a Mumsnet blog and then all bets are off and the company pressman may get sacked.

  6. jmch Silver badge

    Grammatical pedantry aside...

    ...there's very few car companies going all-out electric. Tesla is (at the moment) high-end only realtively small volumes, same for BMW's all-electric vehicles. For some major manufacturers all-electric is a minor side-project with prototype-only or trivially tiny production.

    Besides Nissan and Renault (who are basically the same company anyway) is there anyone else shipping electric cars in volume?

    And another aside... "world leaders' can be defined as much by technological advancement as by sales volumes. I would say that Tesla is a world leader (maybe even THE world leader) in electric cars even if their sales volumes are less

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Grammatical pedantry aside...

      OK, it may be a low percentage but in Sweden, for instance, there appears to be a fairly sharp increase in uptake. It makes sense there, a large percentage of their power is green.

      I can see two main problems with an increase in uptake:

      1 - grid load by all these cars that need charging. On the plus side, most of that is at night, off peak.

      2 - drop in fuel revenue for governments. Translated: expect your savings to be eaten up by taxes soon because MPs prefer to be kept in comfort. I have no idea yet what shape that will take (mileage tax or a separately taxed electricity feed for cars, for example), but something will have to give. And that's usually you.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Grammatical pedantry aside...

        An AC wrote: And that's usually you.

        Invariably you would have been more accurate.

      2. Adelio

        Re: Grammatical pedantry aside...

        An interesting point. How are the Government going to claw back the BILLIONS that they will lose on fuel duty?

        Unlikley to be on the meter as there would be too many ways of "charging" your car to avoid it. Millage? Unlikely, a revised car tax. probably. change from ZERO for electric cars to £5,000 per year!!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Grammatical pedantry aside...

          How are the Government going to claw back the BILLIONS that they will lose on fuel duty?

          Road pricing. Search on that term, adding "Department for Transport" and you'll pull up all the made-up feasibility studies they've paid to have done. The great thing for government is that this will require detailed recording of everybody's movements, so loads and loads of data, fantastic snooping opportunities. The "ecall" chip in all cars from next year will mean all new cars have both GPS and mobile data capabilities whether you want them or not, and then despite the assurances that ecall wouldn't have any scope creep, suddenly it will be used to keep tabs on everybody. Any doubts over GPS accuracy will be ignored, and as is usual with public sector data-harvesting, it'll be possible for any numpty to interrogate regardless of real need, the data will be retained forever, and there will be sod all data protection.

          Central to the "benefits" of road pricing is the opportunity to charge more at times of congestion, and thus pretend that traffic will magically self-optimise. The reality is that congestion occurs because at those times and locations, most of us have fuck-all choice. It will however, be effective at pricing the poor off the roads - a bit like the "congestion charge" in London.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Grammatical pedantry aside...

          >Unlikley to be on the meter...

          Given the hype over smart meters and IoT, suspect government will demand that electric cars will have to support intelligent charging, so that when connected to a charging point they communicate their particulars with the charging point/smart meter - this way a car can be charged anywhere and the owner receive a single personalised bill, paying their personalised rate for the electricity... [Obviously, the current generation of smart meters aren't IoT aware and probably can't be software upgraded and so we'll need a second roll out of smart meters...]

          >Unlikely, a revised car tax.

          Given past behaviours, the road tax will be increased - just as it is being stealthily increased for LPG/petrol/diesel vehicles with low emmissions. From a government perspective, road tax is a well-established revenue collecting system, so why wouldn't you use it.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Grammatical pedantry aside...

      Reva (manufacturers of Gwiz) are probably the largest by units shipped, but they are technically quad bikes rather than cars.

  7. tiggity Silver badge


    ASA happily allow adverts for "video" games, with microscopic writing mentioning that (most) of the footage shown is not actual in game footage (but instead something that looks far better). I know people with grumpy kids after buying games that had far worse graphics than the (fake) clips seen on TV adverts (though I have minimal sympathy for those parents as kids were substantially below the age those games were aimed at).

    I must say that ((as a UK person) for "real world" (i.e. you do not need to be nearly millionaire level to afford unlike Teslas) electric cars I instinctive think Nissan (specifically the leaf) as that's the leccy car I see far and away the most of (albeit not huge numbers, just far more than the competition)

  8. Eponymous Cowherd

    Don't the ASA have better things to do?

    If you see an electric car on the road in the UK it is extremely likely to be a Nissan Leaf. Do a search for electric cars on AutoTrader. 767 found, of which the top 3 are:

    Nissan: 475

    Renault: 127

    Tesla: 48

    So, compared to the guff that telcos get away with regarding their broadband performance, Nissan aren't being overtly deceptive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't the ASA have better things to do?

      Hang on, isn't that second hand cars?

      Doesn't that indicate which cars people are rather trying to get rid of?

      (upvote for the broadband comparison, btw).


  9. Timmy B Silver badge

    Some stats and stuff.

    Have a read of :

    Basically Leaf an i3 are the main EV sellers not including hybrids. I do have to say I have a Leaf and think it's a great car.

  10. Valerion


    They had a similar issue. Probably.

  11. Blotto Silver badge

    Obligatory Virgin Fibre moan

    So the ASA let Virgin advertise their coax broadband as fibre yet are moaning about Nissan who are definitely a global leader in EV.

    They need to take a reality check.

    1. dave 81


      The ASA are not fit for purpose. Never have been.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020