Yeah, just about anybody can claim to be eco-friendly, but how much of what passes for sustainable business practice is a load of greenwash?
EnviroMedia Social Marketing, in partnership with the advertising faculty of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), launched an online forum in January to enable consumers to judge for themselves the green claims made by major advertisers.
"Rather than having us pointing the finger at any one agency or advertiser, we decided to let the consumer have their say as to what messages out there are legitimate or not," explained Kevin Tuerff, president and principal of EnviroMedia Social Marketing out of Austin, Texas.
On greenwashingindex.com savvy consumers put advertising creative to the test to see who is truly going Kermit. On any given day, commercials from advertisers such as Chevron and Enterprise Rent-A-Car are raked over the coals by consumers ready to agree or dispute their green claims.
"We are not talking about a few crazy environmentalists here," claimed Tuerff. "These people are educated and smart. Any company who thinks they can go out there and exaggerate their claims should think twice. These consumers will find out and punish those brands."