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Going Green? Advice for Marketing Your Eco Products, six key principles being proposed

Going Green? Advice for Marketing Your Eco Products, six key principles being proposed
Picture: Collected

Do your marketing efforts fall foul of new draft guidance issued by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)? Ahead of the complete guidance in September 2021, we consider the six key principles being proposed and how they might encourage footwear businesses to re-examine their ‘green’ claims.

As consumer demand for sustainable, ethical and recyclable products continues to grow, businesses in the footwear sector are increasingly developing new lines and innovative materials that aid in making their products ‘green’.

“In 2019, UK consumers spent £41 billion a year on ethical goods and services – almost 4 times as much as people spent two decades ago.”

This determination to preserve and protect the planet should be applauded and promoted to the end consumer, allowing them to make an informed decision where to spend their money. The challenge facing the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is the swathe of misleading comments being introduced to the market that are unsubstantiated, potentially confusing and ultimately risking consumer confidence.

What does misleading behaviour look like?

  • exaggerating the positive environmental impact of a product or service
  • using complex or jargon-heavy language
  • implying that items are eco-friendly through packaging and logos when this is not true

 “Some 40% of green claims online could be misleading.”

To tackle this, the CMA has issued some draft guidance, which it is welcoming feedback on until 16 July 2021. The guidance consists of six principles that businesses should follow when communicating their green credentials and communicating with customers.

They:

  • must be truthful and accurate: Businesses must live up to the claims they make about their products, services, brands and activities
  • must be clear and unambiguous: The meaning that a consumer is likely to take from a product’s messaging and the credentials of that product should match
  • must not omit or hide important information: Claims must not prevent someone from making an informed choice because of the information they leave out
  • must only make fair and meaningful comparisons: Any products compared should meet the same needs or be intended for the same purpose
  • must consider the full life cycle of the product: When making claims, businesses must consider the total impact of a product or service. Claims can be misleading where they don’t reflect the overall impact or where they focus on one aspect of it but not another
  • must be substantiated: Businesses should be able to back up their claims with robust, credible and up to date evidence. See details.

Source: Online/KSU

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