'Opt for cycling': French car ads required to back travel alternatives from 2022

Published on: 31/12/2021 – 14:11

Car advertising in France should include messages urging people to consider alternative sources of pollution starting in 2022 as part of the government’s efforts to curb CO2 emissions.

The requirement, which will take effect in March, was confirmed in the Official Journal this week after years of attracting people from environmental groups – many of whom want to ban car advertising.

Similar to the official reminders to eat food and beverage ads, consistent information suggests that drivers choose environmentally friendly methods if possible.

Car manufacturers will have three options: “Consider driving,” “Daily use, bus ride,” or “Short tours, choose walking or cycling.”

It will also be required for all media – print, TV, radio or the Internet – and should include the hashtag “#SeDeplacerMoinsPolluer” (Move and Pollute Less).

These promotions should also include traffic CO2 emissions class, a new system order to inform consumers about touching the environment which is part of the climate laws approved by the legislators in July.

In the meantime car manufacturers appear ready to follow, if not happy.

“It means that everywhere, we have to find other ways to use the car. It is the first time we have received direct information from the government,” Lionel French Keogh, head of Hyundai France, told AFP.

“We’re going to change – go for airless cars and history,” he added.

“But there is something strange: they do not differentiate between the type of vehicles. It is a bit against the government’s goal of promoting electric vehicles,” he said.

Volkswagen, the third largest car dealer in the France, after Stellantis and Renault, said, “We will follow the rules and analyze how best to work with our advertising agency.”

As part of a new French law, big advertising pollution cars – which emit more than 123 grams of air per kilometer, plus many more popular SUVs – will be completely banned from 2028.


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