Issues with green advertisement for businesses

Article posted

13th Apr 2023

Read time

2-4 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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Recently the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled against an advertisement posted by Etihad Airways.

The ad was based on “sustainable aviation” as the airline plans to reduce single-use plastic on their planes as well as flying more modern and efficient planes. However, the ASA argued that whilst the airline is taking steps to reduce the environmental impacts of its service, they said there were no initiatives to sustain the claim that the aviation company was completely sustainable.

This is not the first time the ASA has pulled advertisements from brands that they believe to have exaggerated the impact shopping with them would have on the environment. For example, last year a number of ads were turned down from brands such as Oatly, Lipton and Unilever.  

How to make sure your company doesn’t make this mistake

When it comes to advertising the sustainability side of your business it is important not to exaggerate your company’s impact on the environment or the impact of customers picking your brand over a competitor is going to have.


Understand greenwashing

Greenwashing is when a company comes across as sustainable or exaggerates sustainability for marketing purposes but, they don’t have the initiatives or sustainability efforts to live up to the claims. As a lot of consumers prefer to buy from brands that are more sustainable, some businesses have in recent years spent more time marketing themselves as a green company rather than actually focusing on sustainability efforts.   


What are the impacts greenwashing could have on your business?

 Bad Reputation

Consumers and business partners are becoming more aware of when businesses are greenwashing these days. This will lead to your business getting a bad reputation and could really hurt growth as consumers are going to have less trust in your brand. Also, partners and investors are going to be less likely to invest as being associated with greenwashing could also negatively impact them.


Rejected campaigns.

As you will already know when you are marketing your business must stick to certain advertising standards and laws. By having a greenwashing campaign, the likely hood is that the ASA will reject it is high. This means your company will lose out on the money spent on the ads and also would mean that your marketing efforts will have gone to waste.   

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