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Sustainability Claims Warrant Extra Caution

In October 2012, the FTC issued its revised "Green Guides," which are designed to help marketers ensure that claims they make about environmental attributes of their products are truthful. The guides set forth requirements for a variety of environmental claims, however they do not specifically address sustainability claims. This article examines the reasons why the FTC did not address sustainability claims, how it did address other issues, and longstanding advertising principles to highlight the issues that marketers face when using using broad terms such as “sustainable.”

This article was published in the February 28, 2013 issue of the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Permission for article reprint has been granted.

Albert M. Cohen is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Loeb & Loeb LLP and has more than 30 years of experience handling complex environmental cases and transactions.