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Red Light,Green Lite

The FTC has made it clear that green marketers
are going to have to put their mouths
where their money is.

Eco-friendly claims in TV ads will have to
be backed up or qualified, and general
environmental claims will be frowned upon,
period, according to a recent Federal Trade
Commission decision.

Groups opposed to so-called greenwashing,
or eco-puffery, aren’t claiming victory,
suggesting that marketers would not be
deterred. But TV advertisers and others will
have to be more careful about their claims if
they want to avoid thorny issues.

“The FTC is trying to help advertisers
and consumers navigate the wilds of green
advertising, but marketers throw about environmental
claims with abandon, and I don’t
expect them to stop,” EnviroMedia cofounder
Kevin Tuerff said in an online response to the
FTC’s announcement of its proposed changes
to the so-called Green Guide.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said his agency
was trying to make it easier for green marketers
by giving them the guidance many of them
had sought. But a pair of environmental lawyers
headlined their analysis of the proposal:
“Business Beware: FTC Looks to Put ‘Green’
Marketing Claims Under the Microscope.”