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Great Greenwashed Advertising

Insidious Examples Of Greenwashing


There are a lot of ads out there right now that promote going green, but what about those companies that urge you to buy their wares under false pretenses?  Yes indeed, that's what we call greenwashing.  Consumers beware, there are quite a few ads floating out there that promote the proverbial "eco chainsaw."  Look for "true" green investments and products.


Fuel Efficient...Hummer?

Apparently, in the UK, Hummer newspaper ads ran that claimed that is was "Built for UK roads, it's smaller, fuel efficient..."  But following complaints, GM pulled any fuel efficiency claims.


Palm Oil: Putting A Green Spin On Massive Deforestation

This ad claims Malaysian palm oil has been sustainably produced since 1917.  But someone forgot to tell the ad agency that between 1985 and 2000, 87% of Malaysia's deforestation resulted from the development of new palm oil plantations.


I Drink Bottled Water (But It's Okay - They're Eco-Shape)!

So we all drink the occasional bottle of water.  But let's get real...don't pretend that just because it's curvy, the plastic bottle is green.  It's not.  It's plastic.


Of course, even Arrowhead isn't as bad as 'Fiji Green'. Arrowhead bottles outside of LA, Fiji Green bottles in Fiji and then transports that water to the USA. The costs aren't fun to think about.


"Clean Coal" Is An Oxymoron

Way to go GE....promote coal with hot people.  Because real coal miners shovel in sports bras and mini skirts.  Oh, they don't...


Along the same lines (sans pretty faces), here's a print ad (and below that, a TV spot saying that without coal...well, kiss the American dream goodbye - sorry to be repetative, but clean coal is mythical) from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity:






Oh Chevy, How Green You'd Like To Seem

Sure this ad does mention Chevy's "extended range electric car" (presumably the Volt)...but...dogs licking feet?  Seriously?


And what about this one?  Okay, okay, so there's the Volt (but it's range extended with not gas-free).  And there's the Equinox.  It's just too bad neither of those are near getting into consumer hands.


Is Agent Orange Part Of The Human Element Too?

So this ad from Dow Chemical is actually quite beautiful.  But that's what makes it so scary!  Behind the lovely imagery, Dow has a history of toxic waste dumping and oh yeah, they created Agent Orange (but to be fair, they have done some good things with reducing their energy consumption).


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