Truth in Green Advertising: FTC Releases Final Revised “Green Guides”


The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released final revisions to its Environmental Marketing Guides, commonly known as the “Green Guides.” The Green Guides, the FTC’s guidance document on enforcement of Section 5 of the FTC Act join similar state laws that prohibit deceptive or misleading marketing acts or practices and illustrate the FTC’s new commitment to ensure that marketing statements referencing environmental attributes are truthful and not misleading.

The October 1, 2012 release of the new Green Guides comes two years after the FTC first announced proposed revisions to the Guides to address increases in potentially deceptive green marketing. In October 2010, our prior update provided insights into those proposed revisions and what they could mean to companies involved in making any sort of environmental claims. The FTC’s current action largely reflects its 2010 proposal and contains important revisions to the agency’s previous, longstanding version of the Green Guides.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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