J500 Media and the Environment

Lose Weight Without Diet and Exercise! by michellec1
October 18, 2008, 9:46 am
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , ,

I admit that I’ve picked up many a brightly colored bottle with this claim on it in big bold letters only to be disappointed by the fine print that clarifies None of these claims are substantiated by the FDA. I then think, ‘Darn, it’s back to vegetables and the treadmill.’

We as consumers are bombarded by marketing messages, sound bytes, and advertising gimmicks that promote “Green Products”. Marketing departments in companies that produce everything from cotton balls to peanut butter have jumped on the “green” bandwagon to attract environmentally conscience consumers. But, without a governing body such as the FDA, consumers are often misinformed about who can actually back up all of their claims. I’ve found myself standing in the shampoo aisle at Target looking at all my organic, non-toxic, eco-friendly, bio-degradable options wondering what’s a “green” gal supposed to do? Some savvy consumers have taken things into their own hands and do research on websites sites like Greener Choices to see what labels actually mean. Several corporations have taken actions to further legitimize their claims, such as SC Johnson who clearly defines their ranking system for the raw materials that go into their products.

David Clark emphasized the new level of authenticity that consumers are now demanding as a measure of a company’s integrity. Every company wants to build their base of loyal customers so I believe that companies that voluntarily embrace strict and standardized definitions and rating systems will quickly become industry leaders in the sustainability movement. As consumers get smarter and choosier, businesses simply won’t be able to afford not to.


Advertising to the enviornmentally conscious consumer

Advertising to the enviornmentally conscience consumer.

Image source: www.ifyoucare.com

Michelle Chisholm


3 Comments so far
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You are spot on in addressing the needs for better oversight over green claims. Who should be the arbiter of this information? As we discussed in class in regards to Bisphenol-A (BPA), FDA has not necessarily acted in our best interest.

Comment by j500

Simran, you are right when you say that there is recent evidence that the FDA has not always necessarily acted in our best interest. I think it brings up a good point that the U.S. government is not a fool-proof choice when it comes to choosing a regulating body, but I think they are often a good place to start. If governmental standards are created, they are often the most quickly and effectively enforced. Green labels and terms are popping up on consumer goods and products across all industries so it would be hard to regulate their usage simply at the industy level. I think that government definitions and restrictions on marketing terms would begin to bring standardization that could be built upon by private agencies and other groups.

Comment by michellec1

I agree the amount of green advertising can be very confusing for cosumers with an interest in being green. I also agree that this same set of consumers has several on line resources they can use to help determine how environmentally friendly a product is. However, these same misleading ads results in many other consumers from just giving up on being green. I’m not sure that government regulations alone would solve the problem. I would like to see local, state and federal programs implemented that would educate all people on how to determine if different products truly are green.

Comment by vanessar05

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