Green marketing 101

Marketers may have to attend Greenwashing seminars and classes if they want to learn the do’s and don’ts on how to use green words in their advertisings.

All over the world, public advocates are scrutinizing every green word in marketing and advertising and this summer alone found major companies such as tire manufacturer Goodyear in Australia, and in the UK, oil company Shell, accused of greenwashing.

Another one brewing in Australia is within the beverage industry. According to this article from FoodProductionDaily.com, beer producer Coopers Brewery has been accused by the Australian consumer advocate group CHOICE of greenwashing. The group filed a complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the article reported.

Coopers’ slogan for its beer: “Australia’s greenest beer”, “Big beer. Tiny footprint.”

CHOICE voiced out that Coopers doesn’t provide the reassurance of third-party certification, or support its claims with much evidence. When they asked the company about its green practices, CHOICE claimed that Coopers cannot provide comparable data on how it was performing in relation to other beer manufacturers in Australia.

“Months after we first spotted its footprint advert, Coopers said it is just now in the process of measuring their footprint. Where does this leave the consumer who wants to drink enviro beer? The marketing might be cute and clever, but don’t lap up a green claim unless it’s backed up with reliable evidence,” CHOICE said.

Here are other eco-beer slogans in Australia. So far, they passed CHOICE’s green approval.

  • Cascade Green “100% carbon offset”, “Beer of the earth.”
  • Barefoot Radler “Carbon neutral”, “Treading softly on the planet.”

In another industry and here in the US, cleaning products producer Clorox has also been hit by marketing and labeling complaints although not from a green group but from its major competitor, SC Johnson.

According to the Council of Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD), SC Johnson is challenging Clorox’s claims that its Green Works product line works as well as traditional cleaners.

The NAD said Clorox should discontinue or modify their claims as based on their testing, the natural-based cleaners “do not perform as well as all cleaners on the toughest grease and does not kill germs as many traditional cleaners do.”

Definitely not a good news for Clorox especially when its Green Works line is widely being promoted by the retail giant Wal-Mart. The product line also has the endorsement of the green group Sierra Club.

Clorox said it disagreed with the NAD’s findings but will not appeal the decision.
addthis_pub = ‘greenchicgeek’;

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