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Do We Need to Limit Car Advertising?

Tom Bogdanowicz, a biking advocate with the London Cycle Campaign, has a novel idea: Reversing the trend of ever-increasing car ownership and use...


Tom Bogdanowicz, a biking advocate with the London Cycle Campaign, has a novel idea:
Reversing the trend of ever-increasing car ownership and use is not as difficult as it seems. If governments were to limit car advertising, as they did with alcohol and tobacco when the health impacts were recognised, people would take decisions about their mode of transport based on common sense rather than the promise of open highways, high speeds and glamorous locations. Common sense might well encourage cycling or walking for more journeys.
Tobacco ads have been banned on the radio and on TV by Federal law since 1971. The reasoning was that promoting tobacco in the media is a public health liability. That same argument could apply to cars (or fast food or soda for that matter).This raises some interesting questions though. Where do we stop? If we were to regulate car advertising because of carbon emissions, why couldn't we regulate the advertising of any product that has a carbon footprint? Even if we weren't to go that far, would we regulate ads for hybrids? For Teslas?Of course, given the fact that there aren't Federal laws against alcohol advertising after decades of effort, this is probably all impossible politically.
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