Nearly five years after the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") commenced a series of workshops in order to update its environmental marketing guidelines or "Green Guides," on October 1, 2012, the FTC issued the final version of the updated guidelines. As with other FTC guidelines, the revised Green Guides do not have the force of law. Nonetheless, they are extremely important because they represent the FTC’s view of how Section 5 of the FTC Act should be interpreted when applied to environmental advertising claims. The FTC has provided several resources on its website to assist advertisers in understanding the new guides, which are available here.
Although many aspects of the revised Green Guides are fairly detailed and include numerous examples, the following is a "top ten" list of considerations for understanding and applying the revised Green Guides:
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