BBB Offers Tips for Green Marketing

June 11, 2014

Green MarketingMarlborough, MA - In this day and age, consumers are becoming more and more concerned with protecting the environment. If your business provides environmentally safe products or services, it could be beneficial to utilize ‘green’ marketing strategies.

Before you can enhance your business’ image by starting a green marketing campaign, it’s important to make sure your claims are credible. As a small business, be careful to avoid making false or exaggerated ‘green’ claims. As a BBB Accredited Business, Better Business Bureau’s Code of Advertising upholds Accredited Businesses to high standards and promotes truth in advertising.

“These days, consumers are looking for environmentally-friendly products to help in protecting their community,” said Paula Fleming, Vice President of the local BBB. “It’s important that small businesses understand how green marketing can affect consumers’ purchasing decisions.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a “Green Guides” to help marketers ensure that their claims are non-deceptive. This guide cautions businesses not to make broad or unqualified claims about their environmental products, as well as how to avoid deceiving consumers.

Better Business Bureau offers the following tips when starting a green marketing campaign:

Avoid false or exaggerated claims. Green marketers should not make unqualified, general benefit claims, especially false or exaggerated claims. It is also deceptive to misrepresent that a product, package, or service has been endorsed or certified by an independent third party. Any endorsement by a third party must adhere to the FTC’s Endorsement Guides.

Understand what motivates consumers. To assist in marketing to environmentally-friendly consumers, Consumer Reports’ “Greener Choices” website offers information to help identify consumer trends and preferences for green products. By researching what the current trends are, green marketers are able to advertise for their environmentally-friendly products that are in demand.

Be specific with claims. To prevent deceptive claims, qualifications and disclosures should be clear, prominent, and understandable. If your product is recyclable, degradable, non-toxic or otherwise, it is important to be specific. Unless it is clear from the context, a green marketing claim should specify whether it refers to the product, packaging, or service.


For more information you can trust, visit us at


ABOUT BBB:  For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses, all available for free at 

The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national and international programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont was founded in 1920.
Paula Fleming is Chief Marketing & Sales Officer for Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT.  Find Paula on Google+.