Car Advertisers Hang-up The Greenwashing (As If)
The automotive industry is the global leader in greenwashing. Whether through highly-touted donations to activist groups, misleading advertisements or assorted implausible claims, automakers will do most anything (or in some nothing) to seem eco-friendly. The New York Times reports that the ad men are worried that many consumers can discern now disingenuous environmental claims from environmental action. The Grey Lady traveled to Cannes for an annual ad industry knees-up, and found that green claims are being dialed back to the point reflecting reality. Forget morality, it's one of those impact deals. "After 18 months, levels of concern on any issue tend to drop off," said Jonathan Banks, Nielsen UK's business insight director. Another problem: watchdog groups are fact checking green claims. Britain's A.S.A. and the America's F.T.C. are looking into tightening eco-ad standards. How long before automakes can't advertise highway mpgs?
More truth in advertising and marketing? What? How long can this trend last?
"Best in class" is only useful if the vehicles are used in a manner for which the class was designed. I'm not sure who buys a Silverado for long highway cruising. If that where what it is designed for, you could probably get an additional MPG or 2 just by lowering the vehicle and adding some aerodynamics.
Good point, SunnyvaleCA. Also, while I usually have limited sympathy for stupid people, the shamelessness of the current "eco ads" makes me cringe. I wouldn't mind if FTC ruled that any mpg ad has to either clearly spell out both city and highway, or a combined 50%/50%, whichever FTC decided to pick.