?In Italy, a new article has been inserted in the latest update of the Code of Marketing Communication Self-Regulation ( 27th March 2014) to finally regulate advertising that “declares or evokes environmental or ecological benefits”.
This is an important signal aimed at protecting Italian consumers who have all too often been subjected to misleading adverts proclaiming fictitious green properties (greenwashing).
The Federal Trade Commission in the USA has been working on improving the “Green Guides” since back in 1992 and in October 2012 put out the third revised edition ( the second dates back to 1998).
Quoting from the IAP website: “The Code of Self-discipline is binding for companies that invest in communication–agencies, consultants, communication channels, dealerships and for all those who have adhered via their trade associations or via the signing of an advertising contract.”
This statement was issued by the Institute of Self discipline in Advertising, a privately run organisation which works to promote correct information in adverts aimed at the citizen-consumer. The rules are upheld by the Controlling Committee and by the Jury. Anyone is able to report an advert, which is thought to break the rules of the Code of Practice, by using an online form.
Here below is the text of the newly added rule:
Art. 12 – Protection of the natural environment
Advertising claiming or suggesting environmental or ecological benefits must be based on truthful, pertinent and scientifically verifiable evidence.
Such advertising must ensure a clear understanding of which aspect of the product or activity the claimed benefits refer to.
Thanks go to Barbara Pozzo, professor at the Law, Economy and Culture department of the Università dell’Insubria