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New Nordic Guideline: Ethical and Environmental Marketing Claims

19. April 2005

24 February 2005 saw the release of a new guideline on ethical and environmental marketing claims – the latest of joint guidelines issued by the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen.

24 February 2005 saw the release of a new guideline on ethical and environmental marketing claims – the latest of joint guidelines issued by the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen.

An increasing number of consumers demands environmentally safe products, or products which accommodate the consideration for social and ethical concerns. Due to this development, business and trade now venture into sustainable marketing in greater numbers, with more traders wanting to make use of ethical and green claims in their advertising as the result

Claims about environmentally friendly products, fundraising for charitable purposes, corporate statements on child labour and animal testing etc. are increasingly finding their way into marketing. In order to make sure that these terms are used correctly, guidance is needed as to how to apply green and ethical statements, trademarks and labels to marketing purposes, packaging etc. It is imperative that consumers can trust green and ethical marketing: if a product claims to be environmentally friendly then that is what it has to be!

The guideline discusses the requirements that, according to the Nordic Consumer Ombudsmen, should apply to ethical and environmental marketing claims in relation to Nordic legislation concerning marketing practises.

The new guideline is based on the principles of good marketing practises and the ban laid down in the Danish Marketing Practises Act on the use of incorrect, misleading or unreasonably incomplete statements for marketing purposes.

"It is gratifying to see that the notion of corporate responsibility in relation to society and the environment has got such a hold on business and trade. However, claims must be true and real. It is our hope that the guideline will induce business and trade to use ethical and environmental marketing claims cautiously and responsibly", says the Danish Consumer Ombudsman, Hagen Jørgensen.

The guideline took effect 24 February 2005 and replaces the 1994 joint guideline on Environmental Marketing Claims and the guideline issued by the Danish Consumer Ombudsman on green marketing from May 1993.

The guideline is now available in English - click here.

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