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Notre Affaire À Tous v. FIFA

Jurisdiction: Jury de Déontologie Publicitaire (JDP)

Side A: Notre Affaire À Tous (Ngo)

Side B: Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) (Ngo)

Core objectives: Whether FIFA's advertising claims on their climate commitments and climate neutrality with regard to the 2022 World Cup are misleading 

The complaint concerned several advertising claims in the context of FIFA's carbon neutrality campaign for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

Next to other social media content, the contested content mainly concerned two advertisings:

1. FIFA'S "Climate Pledge for the FWC" available on FIFA's website

The "Climate Pledge" targeted ticket holders, as they were invited by email to pledge for the climate. Ticket holders were informed that FIFA had offset a certain amount of CO2, those ticket holders who pledged were eligible to win a voucher. The climate pledge aimed at moving customers to reduce their personal carbon footprint. The relevant webpage also provided information of the alleged carbon-neutrality of the World Cup and climate measures to reach that goal, predominantly through offsetting.

2. FIFA's explainer "What is climate change?" available on FIFA's website

In addition to generic information on climate change, FIFA highlighted their commitments to delivering a carbon neutral 2022 World Cup, declaring it to be the first carbon neutral FIFA World Cup.

The plaintiff, Notre Affaire À Tous, argued that these advertising claims were misleading and in breach of the ICC Advertising and Marketing Communications Code and the Sustainable Development Recommendations of the ARPP (Autorité de Régulation Professionelle de la Publicité; the French advertising self-regulatory organisation), both with regard to the clarity and the truthfulness of the messages.

To this end, the plaintiff contested FIFA's promotion of the 2022 World Cup as being the most compact FIFA World Cup in history, pointing out the promotion of shuttle flights between different locations in order for fans to reach the matches. With regard to the carbon neutrality claim of the tournament, the plaintiff pointed out the lack of emission reduction, inadequate accounting methods, non-adherence to relevant standards and low quality of purchased credits.

Similar claims have simultaneously been launched in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. The relevant authorities in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland announced that all five complaints would be examined jointly by the Swiss authorities.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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