FTC's New 'Green Guides' Should Clarify Environmental Claims

The Federal Trade Commissions new 'green guides' should make environmental claims more understandable for consumers by encouraging better transparency by marketers.

The Federal Trade Commission’s new ‘green guides’ for advertising and marketing may make it even harder to be green.

That should be good for consumers, who may have been misled by broad claims in the past, according to the FTC.

The revised guides are designed to encourage marketers to be truthful about claims they make about the environmental attributes of their products and services. And that should make it easier for consumers to understand the claims. The FTC issued the guides earlier this month after combing through more than 5,000 comments from consumers and marketers. The changes had been proposed in October 2010.

The guides include new sections on the use of carbon offsets, “green” certifications and seals, renewable energy and renewable materials claims. The guides are not rules or regulations, but they define what the agency may find deceptive.

A major change is a warning to marketers against making broad, unqualified claims that a product is environmentally friendly or “eco-friendly.” The agency found that consumers thought that such claims suggested benefits far beyond the actual attributes of a product. Marketers also must have reliable scientific evidence to support the benefits claimed.

An FTC a summary of the “green guides” for consumers is available online at www.ftc.gov. A video explains changes in the guides.

See consumer tips and more information in today's BBB press release.

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flyoverland October 19, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Hopefully, these and other job killing, Obama regulations will be terminated on January 20th.
Heidi C October 24, 2012 at 01:37 PM
To hell with gov. propaganda, designed only for gov. control and profits and citizen slavery. What will be the next freedom they will convince us to sacrifice for the "common" good?
RDBet October 24, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Sounds like good government. Encouraging "Truth in Advertising" and standardizing of reporting. I guess the two prior commentors are angling for the repeal of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.


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