Monday, October 8, 2007

U.K. Consumers Catch Companies Committing 'Green Murder'

From Advertising Age:
Four out of five Britons suspect companies of "getting away with green murder." And they may be right.

"Green murder" is what Chris Arnold, executive creative director of ethical-marketing company Feel, calls marketers' exploitation of environmental ideals to make their companies look good.
"It seems madness when the fundamental purpose of branding is to win trust," he said.

"With the growth of the 'honest economy' fueled by social networking, lying will only get you caught." They're already getting found out.
According to a survey by Ipsos Mori, four out of five consumers in the U.K. believe companies pretend to be ethical just to sell more products. Small wonder: Reputable marketers including Volkswagen, Lexus, Tesco and RyanAir have all been caught making empty claims about their green credentials by U.K. watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority, leading to a clampdown on marketers who make unproven claims....MORE

And from the Times of London:
Watchdog sees red and tells companies to come clean when they try to go green

A clampdown on fake and exaggerated “green” claims has been launched by Britain’s advertising watchdog after a flurry of complaints about unsubstantiated environmental boasts by some of the world’s best-known companies.

After upholding complaints about companies including Toyota, Volkswagen and Scottish & Southern Energy, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told businesses that they must not misrepresent or overstate their claims to being eco-friendly.

In the rush to win over environmentally conscious customers, it says, companies are too easily associating their products with “buzz” phrases such as “carbon offsetting” and “carbon neutral” without providing evidence to back up their claims.

The watchdog is reminding companies that any such claims must be supported by proof. Companies should also not present claims as being universally accepted if the science is, as yet, inconclusive, it says....MORE