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Environmental Claims in Advertising and Marketing Code The ASB began administering complaints under this Code on 1 January 2010. During 2011 the Board considered five cases under the Environmental Code. Complaints were dismissed about each of the advertisements. The five cases were from three advertisers and related to a range of issues. Several of the complaints raised concerns that the advertisements made environmental claims which were unfounded, however when considered by the Board, the advertisements were found not to make any specific or strongly implied environmental claims about the product. In Jemena (0190/11) a reference to ‘Natural Gas. Natural choice.’ was considered not to be an environmental claim. Similarly two advertisements for Santos (a coal seam gas company) 0213/11 and 0214/11 were considered to be promotion for the relationships Santos has with landowners and communities and not to make any environmental claim. Two matters substantively considered under the Environmental Code were: Sir Walter Premium Lawn Turf – (0109/11) TV The complaint about this advertisement concerned the statement that: ‘Your average Sir Walter lawn absorbs more carbon and generates more oxygen than the world’s largest tree’ and a reference to ‘lowering your home’s carbon footprint’.

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The Board considered that this advertisement contains suggestions that this product positively influences the environment and was required to consider whether the advertisement is misleading or deceptive in its description of its features or in a suggestion that such features have an environmentally positive effect (Part 1, clause i). The Board noted significant information provided from the advertiser to support the claims made about the environmental benefit of the advertised product and determined that the advertisement meets the requirements of Part 1, clause iv of the Environmental Code. The Board also noted Part 2 section iii of the Code which requires that “Environmental claims must…in comparative advertisements, be relevant and balanced either about the product/ service advertised or class of products, with which it is compared.” The Board noted that the advertisement compares the carbon absorption and oxygen generation of trees and the advertised product. The Board considered that the particular claim met the requirement of the Code as it was a clearly understood comparison. Similarly, the Board noted that the advertiser has provided a range of material to support the claims made in the advertisement, and presumably would provide the same material to members of the public were it requested and therefore met the requirements of section i of Part 3.

Overall the Board considered that the advertisement met the requirements of the Environmental Claims Code. Jemena – (0427/11) – Print In this case the Board noted the complainant’s concerns that the advertisement is misleading in its claims that Natural Gas hot water is better for the environment than older electric storage heaters when, in the complainant’s view, natural gas drilling and production is not clean or environmentally friendly. The Board noted that the advertisement features an image of a woman showering and that the accompanying text says that modern Natural Gas heaters are ‘more efficient, cheaper to run and are better for the environment than electric storage heaters’. The Board considered section 2(iii) of the Environmental Code and considered that the comparison in the advertisement to the efficiency and costs of Natural Gas is, to a reasonable consumer, a relevant and balanced one. The Board determined that the advertisement did not breach section 2(iii) of the Environment Code. The Board also noted the complainant’s concerns that the advertisement claims that natural gas drilling and production is clean and environmentally friendly. The Board considered that the advertisement makes no such claims or any references to the environmental effects or impact of gas drilling.

Review of Operations 2011

Advertising Standards Bureau - Review of Operations 2011  

The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) administers Australia's national system of self‐regulation in relation to both public and competitor...

Advertising Standards Bureau - Review of Operations 2011  

The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) administers Australia's national system of self‐regulation in relation to both public and competitor...

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