March 17, 2010 / 12:09 AM / 10 years ago

"Act on C02" posters banned by watchdog

Protestors dressed as polar bears demonstrate on the beach against CO2 emissions in Bournemouth, September 24, 2007. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

LONDON (Reuters) - The advertising watchdog has banned two government posters for overstating the risks of climate change.

The adverts by the Department of Energy and Climate Change used nursery rhymes “Rub A Dub Dub” and “Jack and Jill” to warn of the risks of extreme weather conditions.

But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled the newspaper campaign ignored “uncertainties” in the scientific debate after receiving almost 1,000 complaints.

The “Act on C02” posters adapted extracts from the popular childhood poems with stark warnings about the dangers of global warming.

One read: “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. There was none, as extreme weather due to climate change had caused a drought.” Underneath the rhyme it read “Extreme weather conditions such as flooding, heatwaves and storms will become more frequent and intense.”

The other advert read: “Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub — a necessary course of action due to flash flooding caused by climate change.”

It said extreme weather events would mean that life in 25 years’ time would be very different.

The ASA upheld the complaints and said the adverts’ wording should have been more circumspect.

Other elements of the campaign, including a television advert in which a father read his daughter a scary bedtime story about climate change, were cleared by the watchdog.

Reporting by Jim Drury; Editing by Steve Addison

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