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Advertising Green
The advertising industry is asking the Federal Trade Commission "to proceed slowly" as the agency considers possible revisions to its environmental marketing guidelines, also known as the Green Guides.

In their joint comments, three major advertising trade associations urged the FTC to "be extremely cautious about ‘new’ environmental concepts, such as renewable energy, carbon offsets, and sustainability, particularly since there are divergent views among scientific experts about these concepts." The industry states that environmental claims "must be truthful" and opposes changes in the guidelines that would impede communication to consumers regarding environmental benefits, impacts, technologies or practices. Specifically, the comments state that "it is not in the interest of the advertising industry or of consumers for the FTC to mandate environmental certification or to set comprehensive environmental regulations."

The FTC’s process for reviewing and possibly revising the Environmental Marketing Guides has included a request for written comments and a public meeting on "Carbon Offsets and Renewable Energy Certificates." Additional public meetings are planned.

Any FTC revisions to the Guides would need to conform to the Commission’s Data Quality guidelines and pass through the agency’s pre-dissemination review process. Similarly, any studies or data submitted by the public would also need to comply with DQ standards before they could be used or relied upon by the Commission. WatchDog Watch encourages the FTC to make their pre-dissemination review record available for comment prior to finalizing any revisions to the Green Guides.

See joint advertising industry comments

See FTC Docket of comments received

See FTC Federal Register notice

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