FTC to Offer Tighter Guidelines on Green Marketing
According to an article in Advertising Age, the Federal Trade Commission is planning to introduce a new set of so-called Green Guides that are used by the FTC to guide enforcement of existing laws. They are the first environmental-marketing guidelines in 12 years and could radically reshape how far marketers can go in painting their products, packaging or even corporate images green.
These guidelines should help to clarify terms that are used by many manufacturers and retailers to promote sustainability.
Currently there are nearly 300 different Green Seals of Approvals used to grade a products “level of eco-friendliness”, and these guidelines will help to clarify these terms and definitions for consumers once and for all.
This can help to render much of today’s green washing claims obsolete. However, as with any new rules and guidelines, it is important that the American consumer learns to read the labels and to understand these labels. However, after a recent trip down the candy, cookie, soft drink and cereal aisles of my local grocery store last week proved, just because labels are out there, doesn’t mean anybody will be reading them or paying attention to them. Sugar, fructose, corn syrup and other sweeteners are still high on the ingredient list of many of these products, and they are still selling quite well.
Let’s hope the public takes the time to learn these new guidelines — and supports those companies that are helping to make a difference to make the planet greener.
Let’s make every day, Earth Day.