Environmental concerns dominated the headlines throughout 2015. For marketers, this meant an increase in the development and supply of environmentally conscious products and services and a renewed focus on “green” attributes in their marketing. Not surprisingly, consumers and regulators responded by increasing their scrutiny of “green marketing” and their willingness to take legal action based on perceived “green washing.”
As in years past, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) remained the most active regulator of environmental benefit marketing claims, seeking to ensure that all “green marketing,” regardless of media, complied with its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (Guides). It sent warning letters to manufacturers and retail sellers of certain “green” products and services, reminding them that it monitored the marketplace and would challenge advertising it deemed inconsistent with the Guides.