Autor
Louise Popple

Louise Popple

Senior Professional Support Lawyer

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Autor
Louise Popple

Louise Popple

Senior Professional Support Lawyer

Read More

30. November 2021

Brands Update – November 2021 – 3 von 3 Insights

Greenwashing and more – recent ASA developments

  • Quick read

What happened?

  • The ASA has completed a review of its rules and guidance on environmental claims to ensure they are fit for purpose. The regulator cites the fallout from the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), among other things, as factors necessitating this action.
  • The regulator has set out three steps it proposes to take in relation to its regulation of green claims in advertising. It will commission research into carbon neutral, net zero and hybrid claims and begin enquiries on specific issues, focussing initially on energy, heating and transport. Lastly, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) will publish new guidance to help advertisers ensure their ads do not mislead consumers. It will complement guidance recently issued by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), to which the ASA contributed.
  • This statement puts advertisers on notice that their green claims will be under greater regulatory scrutiny.

Want to know more?

The ASA has previously recognised the important role played by the advertising industry in influencing how people respond to the challenges facing the planet. The CAP and BCAP Codes prohibit socially irresponsible and misleading environmental advertising (see Rules 9 and 11, respectively). The ASA enforces the Codes and has pledged to leverage technology assisted monitoring as it goes further in identifying and taking action against advertisers engaging in greenwashing. 

To avoid falling foul of advertising rules around environmental claims, businesses should pay close attention to the new CAP guidance for advertisers, once published. Issue-specific guidance is likely to follow. Advertisers should also consider the CMA's guidance on misleading environmental claims. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has also published a list of useful resources for advertisers making environmental claims.

Separately, the ASA has recently ruled against a number of advertisers for failing to fairly administer prize promotions. To avoid the negative media coverage and reputational damage that can accompany an ASA ruling, influencers and brands can refer to a new ASA resource page before running their promotions. Resources include infographics, e-learning advice and videos.

Find out more

To discuss the issues raised in this article in more detail, please reach out to a member of our Brands & Advertising team.

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