Blog Posts Tagged with Environmental Marketing

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Performing seals

You don’t need to go to a water park to see performing seals. You can spot them on websites where they perform the function of conveying information about the purported environmental benefits of products. But do the groups offering those seals – and the companies that display them – have appropriate proof for the claims consumers take from them? If your clients use environmental seals or certifications, you’ll want to see the latest from the FTC staff.

FTC to wipes maker: Back up your claims, not buyers’ pipes

A royal flush? More like a royal pain for consumers who trusted claims that moist flushable wipes manufactured by trade supplier Nice-Pak were safe for home plumbing systems. According to an FTC complaint, the wipes were made of a non-woven fabric that didn’t break down as quickly and easily as advertised, rendering that “flushable” claim a pipe dream – or maybe a pipe nightmare if your sewer or septic system got clogged as a result.

Not-so-fantastic recycled plastic?

When comparing products made of plastic lumber – picnic tables, benches, trash bins, and the like – many consumers and businesses factor in environmental considerations.  So when California-based American Plastic Lumber suggested its products were made virtually entirely out of post-consumer recycled content like milk jugs and detergent bottles, it’s understandable that shoppers would take note.  But according to the FTC, buyers didn’t get the benefit they bargain

FTC says diaper claims didn't pass the smell test

What do dirty diapers and deceptive ads have in common?  (We’ll pause a moment so you can add your own punch line.)  Now that’s out of the way, the action against Portland-based Down to Earth Designs – consumers know them as gDiapers – is the FTC's latest effort to ensure the accuracy of environmental marketing claims.  But even if green isn't your game, the case also offers insights into what the FTC calls "unqualified claims."

6 tips for keeping your green claims clean

A recent FTC law enforcement crackdown focused on allegedly deceptive biodegradability claims for plastics. Four of the cases settled and a fifth is heading to trial. Another action targeted green claims made by a company the FTC had sued before. Of course, the orders in the cases apply just to those companies, but if you’re intent on keeping your green claims clean, there’s a lot you can glean from the announcement.

Grading your degradability claims: The latest for green marketers

Golf tees, food containers, paper plates, shopping bags, additives for plastics, and rebar caps to prevent construction workers from getting impaled on the job. That’s either the strangest shopping list ever or just some of the products at the center of the FTC’s latest law enforcement effort to make sure companies’ environmental claims are truthful and substantiated.

Building your VOCabulary

The FTC just accepted final settlements with two of the largest paint manufacturers in the country — Sherwin-Williams and PPG Architectural Finishes.  The complaints charged that the companies made deceptive “zero VOC” claims for their Dutch Boy Refresh and Pure Performance brands.  But along with the settlements, the FTC issued an Enforcement Policy Statement that's a must-read if you're thinking about making similar claims and want to comply with

Bamboo snafu

Bamboo:  It’s not just for tiki huts anymore.  Consumers are seeing more items, especially clothing and textiles, labeled or advertised as “bamboo.”  But according to FTC lawsuits, Amazon.com, Leon Max, Macy’s, and Sears claimed that products were made of bamboo when they were really made of rayon.  In addition, some bamboo wannabes were promoted as environmentally friendly.  But manufacturing rayon — even when it’s made from bamboo — is far from a “green” process.

Painting the town green

The biggest decision facing a DIYer in the paint store used to be whether Dusting of Snow or Wistful Beige was right for the dining room.  But nowadays more businesses are making express claims about their products, including purported environmental benefits.  Two of the nation’s leading paint companies — The Sherwin-Williams Company and PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc. — advertised that some of their paints were free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Green Day

If you make environmental claims in your marketing or have clients who do, today’s the day you’ve been waiting for:  the release of the FTC’s revised Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims — the Green Guides.  In the next few weeks, we’ll follow up with blog posts going into detail about what’s new, what’s changed, and what’s stayed the same.  But here’s our suggested TO DO list to help you get started.

Good night. Sleep tight. Be sure to get your ad claims right.

No one is going to amend the nursery rhyme, but if you market products aimed at fighting bed bugs or head lice and are itching to keep your promotions in line with the law, two FTC lawsuits merit your attention.  Even if bugs aren’t your bag, the cases are a reminder of the need to back up your claims with solid science.

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