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Lexus breaks advertising rules

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An advert for a Lexus hybrid vehicle, which claimed that the car was "perfect for today's climate", breached advertising regulations, a watchdog has ruled.

The national press ad for the Lexus RX 400h also claimed that "Driving the world's first luxury hybrid SUV makes environmental, and economic, sense".

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints that the claims were misleading because they implied that the car caused little or no harm to the environment.

The ASA said the ad breached regulations relating to truthfulness and environmental claims and told Lexus not to make such implications in the future if they were not true.

Lexus defended the advert by insisting that the headline was meant to work on two levels, with the word climate also referring to the current economic situation and the cost of the car.

The company said it had changed the ad immediately following the complaints to state "Perfect for today's economic climate" and they removed the claim that driving it made environmental and economic sense.

© The Press Association 2008