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How FTC Is Cracking Down On Environmental Ad Claims

The Federal Trade Commission's recent actions against nine companies making allegedly deceptive environmental marketing claims send a strong message to companies about the enforcement priorities of the FTC and the need for companies to possess adequate substantiation for claims about the environmental benefits products. Recognizing the growing consumer interest in environmentally friendly products and the proliferation of green claims in the marketplace, the FTC issued, in October 2012, revised Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims ("The Green Guides"). The purpose of the green guides is to prevent deception by offering the FTC's interpretation of the types of green marketing claims that are considered deceptive or misleading under section 5 of the FTC Act.

In this article, Loeb & Loeb partner David G. Mallen, co-chair of the firm's Advertising Disputes Practice, examines implications of the FTC's recent enforcement activity, which highlights the importance of compliance with the green guides and offers lessons to companies marketing the environmental benefits of their products or services.