retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that there is “a rising tide of legal and regulatory actions aimed at products pitched as "environmentally friendly," as consumers and the Federal Trade Commission have begun challenging whether such claims live up to their billing.

“Companies stand accused of, among other things, adding self-designed labels that imply their products have won some third-party seal of approval; touting products as ‘biodegradable’ when there is little chance they would actually decompose in a landfill; and labeling rayon fabric - created from tree cellulose processed with a chemical that releases hazardous air pollutants - as made of bamboo, which is merely substituted for the wood fiber.

“This backlash comes at a time when research shows consumers are willing to pay more for goods that save energy, pollute less or are made from natural materials, and businesses say eco-friendly products are potentially big money-makers.”
KC's View:
Companies that promote products as “green” when they do not qualify for such a description are making a stupid mistake. They hurt the green effort overall, and they damage their own credibility. In a transparent global marketing environment, such misguided efforts may haunt them for a long time to come.