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Advertising watchdog rejects challenges by Esso and Shell
02 October, 2019
BP company owned site

BP has won a victory over Shell and Esso after they challenged claims in the advertising for BP Ultimate fuel.

Shell and Esso made a total of three complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority about adverts that ran in April and July 2016, but they were all rejected.

Esso and Shell challenged claims that BP Ultimate fuel could give customers “more miles per tank” and “up to 21 more miles per tank”. Shell also challenged whether the claims that BP Ultimate could enable motorists to reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by up to 4%, and Esso queried the claim that BP Ultimate fuel could help reduce the risk of unplanned maintenance.

BP provided detailed evidence to support its claims and in its verdict on the extra mileage claims the ASA said: “Taking into account the nature of the fuels used, the test procedure, test fleet selection and range calculation methodology, we considered that we had seen sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the saving was achievable by a significant proportion of UK consumers.”

Regarding the claims that that BP Ultimate could enable motorists to reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by up to 4%, the ASA said it understood that CO2 emissions and fuel consumption were directly and proportionally linked. Therefore the claim on CO2 emissions was supported by the same evidence as in the first point.

On the third point BP provided evidence of the problems that could be caused by deposits in petrol and diesel engines. The ASA commented: “These problems had the potential to cause vehicle breakdown, and therefore could cause motorists to seek unplanned maintenance. As we had seen evidence that BP Ultimate fuels could remove dirt deposits from engines, we considered that the claim that BP Ultimate fuel could help reduce the risk of unplanned maintenance had been substantiated and was not misleading.”

A BP spokesperson commented: “Our scientists spent five years developing and rigorously testing BP Ultimate fuels with ACTIVE technology, putting them through more than 80 different test methods and testing them for thousands of hours in a wide range of vehicles. We are confident that BP Ultimate fuels with ACTIVE technology deliver a range of benefits to drivers and are delighted that the ASA ruling dismissed the challenges to the claims we made.

“Our Ultimate fuels help cars run more efficiently, meaning less fuel is used for the same journey and so emitting less CO2. We think of our premium fuels as an investment in the health of cars – with ongoing use they help keep them running smoothly and performing at their best and help reduce the risk of unplanned maintenance.”

A spokesman for Esso said the company was disappointed by the ASA decision and it was considering its position.


When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?