'Tis the season of gift giving, and of retailers trying to grab as much of their market share as they can. While encouraging consumerism and excessive consumption, sellers also seek to tap into nobler urges toward benevolence and charity at this time of year.
In January 2008, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will "examine carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates that claim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in one place to offset emissions elsewhere." It's part one of the agency's review of "green" marketing guidelines. The review was initially slated for 2009, but is being moved up due to the rapid increase in marketing things like carbon offset programs, a "$55 million market that is largely unregulated." A legal staffer for the U.S.
An extract from Bob Burton's Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry.
Brian Page, a 42-year-old railway worker, had been busy before Easter 1992 buying furniture for a house he had just moved into at Mt Pritchard, a south-western Sydney suburb. On their way home, his daughter Melissa wanted to stop at McDonald's in Fairfield for lunch. Shortly after returning home, Brian Page began vomiting and had diarrhoea. As Page's symptoms were initially indistinguishable from a bout of the flu, his doctor gave him a medical certificate and sent him home. Page took to bed for the next three days but on the fourth day went back to work, even though he wasn't feeling well. His boss noticed that Page was unable to write properly and seemed disoriented and confused by his work. He was so concerned about Page that he called a taxi and sent him home, but by then Page recognised something was seriously wrong and went straight to Liverpool Hospital. What was unknown to Page and his doctor was that he had been exposed to Legionella bacteria. If detected early, Legionnaires disease can be treated with antibiotics. Untreated, it can be a killer. Two days after being admitted to the intensive care unit of Liverpool Hospital, Page died. On what would have been his 43rd birthday, more than 100 family and friends attended his funeral.14
Medical researchers Les Toop and Dee Mangin caution that the European Union (EU) should learn from the experience of New Zealand and reject proposals to allow direct-to-consumer advertising (DTC) of prescription drugs. For the last three years, the New Zealand government has been considering whether to ban or further restrict DTC advertising.
An abridged extract from Bob Burton's Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry.
A hallmark tactic of activist campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s was the use of consumer boycotts to punish recalcitrant companies. By the 1990s, however, the trend was more towards developing standards and accrediting retail products that passed muster. The theory was that an accredited product would be rewarded by consumers while the laggards would be under financial pressure to lift their game. One of the pioneering projects during the 1990s was the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which was established by a broad coalition of non-profit groups. Its aim was to shift timber production to sources designated as more sustainable and reduce the market share for forest products derived from the destruction of the world's great forests. Despite numerous problems, the FSC label had some impact, especially in Europe.
Is Al Gore aiding and abetting the world's largest greenwashers? The New York Times reports that "The brightest lights in the advertising business are gathering in Cannes, France, this week for an annual celebration. ... Mr. Gore is being accorded rock star status at the festival. ... The embrace of Mr. Gore shows how 'green' advertising has galvanized the marketing community.
In the last few weeks we have fielded inquiries from journalists around the world seeking recent local examples of greenwashing. Given that the article on greenwashing has ranked up amongst the top 50 articles in terms of the number of readers over the last few months, we figure it is time to add some recent case studies. So, if you have an example that springs to mind, here's your chance to add it to our collection.