Claiming to be green

False advertising capitalizing on a false crisis

Somehow this isn't exactly surprising.

Leading car makers, budget airlines, energy companies and the country's biggest supermarket chain have all been found guilty of breaking advertising rules by the independent watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Faced with rocketing numbers of complaints about adverts claiming environmental benefits, the ASA is promising to crack down on offenders. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has admitted there is "public confusion" over business attempts to cut the pollution that causes climate change.

As public awareness of the dangers of global warming has grown, companies have been clamouring to highlight their green credentials in the hope of boosting sales. But many of the claims they have made have turned out to be false.

In the last year, the ASA has upheld complaints about environmental statements in the adverts of nine companies, including Toyota, Volkswagen, easyJet, Ryanair, Scottish and Southern Energy and Tesco. Investigations concluded thatadvertswere"misleading",and many had to be withdrawn.

"In the gold rush to be green, companies can sometimes be guilty of blowing hot air," said the ASA's spokesman, Matt Wilson. "When making claims in their advertisements about the environmental friendliness of their company, product or service, some advertisers have fallen foul of the advertising codes."

Given the nature of the global warming claims, why shouldn't companies stretch the truth to sell their products?

— NeoWayland

Posted: Tue - August 7, 2007 at 12:44 PM  Tag

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