Holding Marketers Responsible For The 7 “Sins” of Greenwashing

FIJI Water sued in California for "greenwashing" (CC 2010 M Sundstrom)

Something very interesting is happening in Californian courts. In a class action suit filed in a District Court in Santa Ana, a group of individuals claim that the bottled water maker, FIJI Water Company, has been misleading customers by making false carbon offset claims. Their cause for complaint is that FIJI Water’s assertion that it makes a “carbon negative” product is blatantly untrue. “Carbon negative” would mean that FIJI removes more carbon from the atmosphere than they generate, which is based more on clever accounting than reality. In another case, SC Johnson, the household chemicals giant, was sued for placing a non-verified eco-label on their cleaning fluid, Windex. The label, Greenlist, created a false impression of being third-party approved when it was only meant for internal use. What links the two cases is that companies are being held accountable for false “green” claims, “eco” exaggerations and deceptive advertisements , otherwise known as “greenwashing”. Continue reading

Talking To The Post-Recession Consumer

P L Chadwick [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Shopping will never be the same. (CC P L Chadwick)

We would like to believe that the worst of the recession is behind us. Although we are cautiously optimistic about the future, deep down we know that things will never be the same. The downturn scared us good. Goodbye mindless consumption and hello budgets. In a study by Ogilvy of 1200 American respondents, 73% said they would rather have fewer, high quality things. A full 92% say they are using coupons, 91% are shopping at cheaper/discount stores and 90% are buying more store brands. Those who spent recklessly in the good old days are starting to enjoy a more thrifty lifestyle. The post-recession consumer is here to stay. Continue reading