The Green Guides Are Coming: What to Do?

  • Aug 3, 2011

The Green Guides Will define green marketing terminologyAustin, Texas: Marketers and the media are anxiously anticipating the release of the new FTC Green Guides, which will list the new rules for use of green marketing advertising–a sort of truth in advertising campaign.

Although the dates keep getting pushed back, when it is announced, the Green Guides will shift the landscape of green marketing–in the hopes of preventing greenwashing.

There is a great deal of news that terms such as green, carbon neutral, renewable energy and others will be re-defined… but nobody knows the final rulings.

What should a green marketer do?

Tell the Truth. The Whole Truth. And Nothing but the Truth.

Yes.  It’s that simple.

If you make a claim, back it up.

If you say an item is biodegradable, explain how your company defines this term. How long it takes to break down and in what environment.

If you say something is “green”, describe how it is green. Does it save resources in manufacturing or during usage?

If you say an item is made of recycled materials, tell the percentage and the material used.

Spell it out.

If you define the item and explain it, then your customer can compare it to other products and make an informed decision.

Do we like the government telling us what to say, how to say it, etc? Absolutely not.  But these guidelines are to be created because too many companies abused the lack of definitive definitions.

Promoting your green product or service is not hard.

Explain. Educate. Define.

State your benefits clearly and concisely.

Don’t leave any grey space.

Anticipate the questions and concerns your clients may have, and answer them.

That is all the public needs and wants.

Happy Promoting!


  • Category: greenwashing
  • Tags: do not greenwash, FTC Green Guides, Green Guides, greenwashing 101, How not to be accused of greenwashing, how to avoid greenwashing