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Ninety-Five Percent of "Green" Marketing Is Misleading Ninety-Five Percent of "Green" Marketing Is Misleading

Ninety-Five Percent of "Green" Marketing Is Misleading

by Andrew Price

October 29, 2010
We all know marketers try to mislead us into thinking their products are "eco-friendly" or whatever. But now we can quantify the phenomenon (it's huge):

More than 95% of consumer products marketed as "green," including all toys surveyed, make misleading or inaccurate claims, says a report today.

The number of products claiming to be green increased 73% since 2009, according to a survey by TerraChoice, an Ottawa-based marketing firm owned mostly by Underwriters Laboratory of Canada. The UL network does independent product testing and certification.

"The biggest sin is making claims without any proof," says Scot Case of UL Environment, adding that companies want consumers to "just trust them." The report finds "vagueness" is the second-leading problem (a shampoo claimed it was "mother-earth approved").

You can get the full report here.

The good news? The number of products making accurate environmental claims was up from 2 percent in 2009 to 4.5 percent this year. Hopefully that trend continues. The Federal Trade Commission's new guidelines should help a lot.

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Ninety-Five Percent of "Green" Marketing Is Misleading