The Greenwashing Index


This is a Web site used to build a data base of ads with environmental claims. Students and instructors are invited to add to, and comment on, the collection

 ARC: Community: ELMAR: Posting

areas: promotion: dialog

The item below was sent to me for a discussion line on advertising educators, though the subject matter itself might be of interest to many people in this group.
Herb Rotfeld

—–Original Message—–
From: Kim Sheehan []
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 10:02 AM
To: The adforum mailing list
Subject: [adforum] Greenwashing Index


Deb Morrison and I are working on a project in partnership with Enviromedia, a social marketing company specializing in environmental messaging. We’ve developed a Greenwashing Index that is being used to help the agency build a data base of ads with environmental claims. The Index also allows consumers to assess these advertising messages to see whether consumers perceive the message to be "greewashing": that is, using environmental claims that are misleading or confusing in order to sell products.

We invite you and your students to visit the site and view the ads and commentary:

We would also like to invite you and your students to add any advertising message with environmental claims to the collection and to rate the message using the Greenwashing scale. The scale was developed for a broad consumer audience. We’re seeing some ads get high scores — they’re guilty of greenwashing, according to those using the site. Other ads have reasonable and honest claims, according to the index. Both functions serve as important ways of educating consumers and, importantly, educating advertising professionals about how consumers perceive ads with environmental messages.

Kim Sheehan
Associate Professor
University of Oregon