Greenpeace accused of telling lies in advert: Watchdog bans anti-nuclear image

GREENPEACE was accused by the nuclear industry yesterday of telling 'blatant lies' after one of its fund-raising advertisements was banned for being innaccurate, in poor taste and offensive.

Following seven public complaints from around the country, including one from Cumbria where the nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield is sited, the Advertising Standards Authority has ordered the environmental campaign group to withdraw the offending advertisement and not repeat any of its claims.

The advertisement, which appeared in several national publications including the Independent, raised around pounds 70,000 in donations and featured a photograph of a baby with an enlarged head labelled 'Kazakhstan nuclear test victim'.

It claimed that '2,000 people will die because of the radioactive discharges from Sellafield over the next 10 years', and attacked the nuclear industry for being 'intent on spreading radiation and the means of mass destruction around the globe'.

After seeking expert advice, the authority did not accept that the child's condition, hydrocephalus, was caused by radiation. Questioning whether the child was a test victim at all, it ruled 'the use of the image to attract attention was inappropriate and in poor taste'.

Greenpeace's assertion that Sellafield would cause 2,000 deaths was 'a gross over-simplification', and had not been substantiated. The authority also described claims that the industry intended to spread radiation and mass destruction around the globe as 'unfounded and therefore capable of causing offence'.

An ASA spokeswoman said if Greenpeace repeats the allegations in future advertising, it could face an injunction.

Roger Hayes, director general of the British Nuclear Industry Forum, the industry's trade body, welcomed the ASA ruling. 'Nobody could have been unmoved by a picture of this child, but there was no truth in the claim that the child was a victim of radiation,' he said. 'Normally we work on a level playing field with our opponents in that we normally deal in facts. In democracies, people have the right to put their views across, but in this case they have used blatant lies.'

Adam Woolf, of Greenpeace, said the group was surprised by the ASA's reaction: 'We stand by our ad. There was an affidavit from the photographer stating that the doctor had said that the child's condition was due to nuclear testing in Kazakhstan.' He said the expert opinion the ASA canvassed was 'difficult to answer. Fifty years ago there were many experts who would be lined up and swear there was no link between smoking and bad health. Just because experts believe there is no proof does not mean it is not true.'

Last year the ASA rejected complaints about an anti- Sellafield Greenpeace poster which featured a pile of fluorescent excrement.

But in May, Greenpeace was forced to pay pounds 29,000 in costs to ICI after dropping a private prosecution against the company. The group had claimed that ICI's Wilton works on Teeside was the biggest polluter of the North Sea, but withdrew after accepting its analysis would not meet the standards required for a successful prosecution.

(Photograph omitted)

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup