Britain's independent watchdog agency, the Advertising Standards Association, has decided it is. The ad, which features a a father reading a bedtime story to his daughter about the the impacts of climate change, caused a stir when it was first released. The ASA has now "rebuked" the government for the ad campaign--which includes 4 print ads as well as the TV spot--saying that the campaign "exaggerates the threat Britain faces" as the planet heats up. Here's the TV ad:
Okay, so the drowning adorable cartoon character and the flooded streets of London were a bit much. And this sort of apocalyptic messaging isn't the best way to encourage a rational dialogue about climate change.
The ASA also banned two print ads that were part of the campaign. Here's one of them:
It says the ads should have been "phrased more tentatively." Does it strike anyone else as ridiculous that a media advisory board is determining whether or not scientific findings are accurate or not? Whether or not the ads scare kids is one thing--whether or not they're factually accurate shouldn't be determined by a body with no expertise on the subject. Would you trust the MPAA to parse nuclear physics?
The TV spot has evidently only been met with the 'rebuke', and has been found to be factually accurate. The UK government stands by its campaign. See the Guardian for more analysis on the debacle.