Thursday, 19 September 2013 17:03

Credible Green Marketing Claims: Guide to FTC Green Guides

A new report from marketing experts Jacquelyn Ottman and David Mallen will help businesses understand what they need to know about the new FTC Green Guides, the standards to avoid “greenwashing” marketing claims.

AdAge is releasing the new report, “How to Make Credible Green Marketing Claims: What Marketers Need to Know about the Updated FTC Green Guides,” co-authored by Jacquelyn Ottman of J. Ottman Consulting and David Mallen from the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau.

Save 10% off the new guide with promo code RR10J.

Jacquelyn Ottman, a green marketing guru and author of The New Rules of Green Marketing, is a Green Festival speaker and webinar presenter who has shared her marketing expertise with small green businesses across the country.

About The FTC Green Guides on Environmental Marketing

For readers not familiar with it, the FTC published the first edition of the Green Guides in 1992. Their goal: to help advertisers avoid deceptive or misleading environmental marketing claims. These Guides are the go-to standards for green marketing claims.

The FTC Green Guides have been updated from time to time as the green marketing landscape evolved. This latest update addresses such new terms that have entered the lexicon as ‘carbon offsets’ and ‘renewable materials’.  It spotlights the use of corporate and product-related eco-seals and certifications. Most importantly, it all but eliminates the use of terms, images, and other attempts to communicate generalized environmental claims such as ‘green’, ‘environmentally friendly’ and ‘eco-friendly.” 

The new report provides:jacquieo

  • an overview of the FTC Green Guides and how they can help businesses reduce risks of greenwash and overcome consumer ‘green fatigue’;
  • a detailed discussion of what’s new to the FTC Green Guides since they were last updated in 1998 (in a word, a lot!);
  • several case studies from the NAD, FTC and other bodies of well-known brands whose claims have been called into question with lessons learned;
  • the 43-item “Ottman Checklist for Credible Green Marketing” –  its first time in print.  It guides businesses step-by-step through a process for ensuring they stay in check with the Guides;
  • 5 alternative strategies for underscoring credibility — including a discussion as to why cause marketing may be dead;
  • seven charts and graphs of hot-off-the-press data on consumer attitudes towards green claims, eco-labels, etc., which are also provided as a free PowerPoint;
  • the complete text 2012 FTC Green Guides as well as a variety of helpful links.


Jacquelyn A. Ottman is the founding chair of J. Ottman Consulting, one of the first green marketing consultants. Over the past 24 years, her pioneering green marketing consultancy has flourished, working for over 60 Fortune 500 companies and several eco-labels. She has written four award-winning books on green marketing and eco-innovation. She is a respected sustainability leader having chaired juries for the Edison Awards and the Effie Awards and is also the founding co-chair of the Sustainable Business Committee of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York. She is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, TriplePundit, and several other websites.

David G. Mallen is the current Deputy Director for Legal Affairs at the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau, having worked there since 1999. He is an established leader in claim substantiation issues and has resolved disputes between food and drug products, telecommunication services, and computer technology. He is an experienced trial lawyer and formerly practiced law at Kensington & Ressler L.L.C, where he concentrated on product liability defense, business counseling, and commercial litigation. 

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