Trump golf club found guilty of misleading claims

Scotland is permitting wind turbines close to a golf club owned by Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd. Yes, it is that Trump and he has been campaigning relentlessly against the proposed windfarm.

One of the campaign activities has been an advertisement that appeared in various publications stating “Is this the future for Scotland?” and featuring an image of wind turbines overlooking a motorway that was labeled “Image taken in California (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)”. Underneath text stated “Tourism will suffer and the beauty of your country is in jeopardy!

Various people, including a Member of the Scottish Parliament, complained to the Advertising Standards Authority claiming that the argument “Tourism will suffer and the beauty of your country is in jeopardy” could not be substantiated and that the image of the wind turbines overlooking an American freeway was misleading because it was not representative of any proposed windfarm in Scotland. The Authority banned any republishing of the advertisement, told Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd not to make claims unless they could be substantiated with robust evidence, and not to use misleadingly imagery.

The issue for GallonDaily is not that a Trump company got caught with misleading advertising against a windfarm but that the ASA took action on an advertisement which was not trying to sell product, at least not directly, but was engaging in more of a political debate. Imagine if all of those who make outrageous claims against climate change or any other pro-environment initiative were also to be found guilty of misleading advertising. If Canada had an Advertising Standards Authority similar to that in the UK, maybe even oil sands development could be shown to be not entirely “ethical”.

You can read a full report of the ASA decisions on the Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd case at http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2013/4/Trump-International-Golf-Club-Scotland-Ltd/SHP_ADJ_217176.aspx

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