Environmental marketing strategies: how to convey accurate and effective green claims in advertising

3 minute read
25 February 2022

This article was originally published on Lexpert.ca

It is popular – and indeed, almost expected – for businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to promote their environmentally-friendly credentials. Eco-advertising and green marketing campaigns are now commonplace, but the commitments that companies make in them can prove to be a double-edge sword if not properly expressed or executed. We asked René Bissonnette, a partner at Gowling WLG specializing in advertising and marketing law, to give us his insights into eco-advertising, the use of influencer marketing strategies to promote environmental pledges, and the dangers of getting it wrong.

The keys to environmental pledges: Truth, time, and tailored to your business

Be specific. Be verifiable. Be committed. Be conservative.

Many Canadians are quite concerned about the environment and climate change. It is very likely that environmental representations could influence a consumer's decision to buy a product or service and therefore deemed "material representations" subject to consumer protection legislation. As such, it is vital to ensure environmental pledges are not false or misleading. To this effect, environmental claims should not be vague or overbroad; they must be specific and verifiable. There has been a recent shift such that environmental claims will be increasingly classified as a type of performance claim going forward. It is therefore important that they are based on adequate and proper testing in accordance with Competition Act requirements.

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