FTC Enforcement Initiatives Spotlight Risks In Making Green Marketing Claims
The Federal Trade Commission has launched an enforcement program to encourage compliance with the agency’s recently revised Green Guides. It has brought at least 12 actions alleging deceptive and misleading claims based on the Green Guides in the last year. In these actions, the FTC has alleged that companies have made claims that are untrue in the circumstances in which a product is likely to be used or disposed, or that are based on certifications not substantiated with representative scientific testing. The Green Guides also are being cited as authority in private party actions brought under the Lanham Act and state consumer protection laws. Companies should review green marketing claims with the same scrutiny and skepticism that they can expect to see from the FTC and from plaintiffs’ counsel.