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Shell fuel manager defends advertising accusations

The Dominion Post

A Shell fuel technology manager says he had not wanted advertisements to quantify fuel savings from a petrol additive because he did not want to end up in court defending it.

But Eric Holthusen ended up in court anyway, where he said yesterday that he believed a 2006 advertising campaign for the “fuel economy formula” additive did not mislead.

The Commerce Commission has laid 22 charges alleging misleading advertising or engaging in conduct liable to mislead. Shell’s defence to the charges continues in Wellington District Court today.

Although the commission accepted the advertisement’s slogan “Designed to take you further” was literally correct, it said the overall impression was that an appreciable fuel economy could be gained.

Shell’s overseas testing found an average benefit of 0.98 per cent better fuel economy compared with a fuel with no additive, but its advertisements did not say that.

Mr Holthusen said he did not want the advertisements to quantify the benefit or make unqualified claims because they could not be guaranteed in every case.



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