Car Advertisers Hang-up The Greenwashing (As If)

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
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?

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  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jul 18, 2008

    More truth in advertising and marketing? What? How long can this trend last?

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Jul 19, 2008
    How long before automakers can't advertise highway mpgs?.... Used to be that if any comment was made about mileage both city/highway figures had to be mentioned. I would like to say that mileage ratings should be required to be posted/mentioned in all ads, but that isn't really necessary anymore at this point. I can't imagine anybody being swayed by "miles pert tank". Detroit did this in the late 70's when their ads proudly stated "want the best cruising range? The imports aren't the answer"...Talk about history repeating itself. Back then I could be somewhat sympathetic even if they should have listened to what David Halberstam wrote in "The Reckoning". Today? Zero sympathy.

  • SunnyvaleCA SunnyvaleCA on Jul 19, 2008

    "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.

  • Hwyhobo Hwyhobo on Jul 19, 2008

    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.