The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, also known as the Green Guides, aim to prevent 'greenwashing' - the use of unsubstantiated environmental claims - in advertising. As such, they spell out the specific environmental claims that advertisers can and cannot make about their products and services.
The Green Guides were first issued in 1992 and were subsequently revised in 1998. In 2007 the FTC began an extensive review of the guides, focusing in particular on the dividing line between deceptive and non-deceptive speech. It invited public comment, hosted workshops and undertook its own consumer perception study in order to gauge public reactions to specific environmental claims.
Informed by this feedback, the FTC has now formulated draft revisions to the Green Guides and is seeking comments on these proposals. The consultation process is open until December 10 2010.
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