The World Wildlife Fund is not impressed by how many adverts there are for SUVs.
"The advertising space must not continue to promote vehicles whose purchase our public policies also try to discourage," says World Wildlife Fund (WWF) president Isabelle Autissier, following the publication of a study focusing on automotive advertising. The study conducted by the non-government organization concludes that SUVs excessively shown on billboards, in newspapers and on television are overrunning the advertising industry.
"French consumers are overexposed to SUV advertising and underexposed to advertising for lighter, less emitting car models," the WWF said. The report arrives as the French parliament debates whether to restrict the promotion of higher-polluting products during its review of the government's flagship Climate and Resilience bill.
Why do we care about the French considering the frequency of advertising SUVs? Because this kind of thinking from Europe proliferates and gives other governments ideas. It already happened here with advertising for things like alcohol and tobacco products. The study says SUV advertising in France occupies 3.5 hours of airtime each day, and we'd guess that that number is much higher in the US, especially if we add pickup trucks.
France has seen "a seven-fold increase in SUV sales in 10 years," says the WWF, "which is a legitimate concern when it comes to the environment."
The number of large SUVs on the road has increased dramatically over the past decade. According to the report, there are 200 million SUVs on the road worldwide, up from about 35 million in 2010. And around 40% of annual car sales today are SUVs, compared with less than 20% a decade ago.
We'll add that the data was from 2019, and in just the past few years we've seen massive advancements in automotive drivetrain technology.
Volkswagen has since announced it won't be developing new piston engines and it seems like new EVs are hitting the market daily. Automakers want to sell them, and they will have to advertise them. Companies like Lucid are already advertising the Air, before it goes into production. We suspect the same study on advertising in 2022 will see a sea-change in the vehicles being advertised globally.