The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) has published a new industry regulation, Environmental Claims in Advertising and Marketing Code.

The move comes in response to the growing number of ‘green’ claims made by Australian advertisers. AANA consulted with its own members, community groups and environmental advocates in preparing the regulations. It said a majority of those consulted were in support of the code.

“This code of practice establishes a clear framework for advertisers and marketers on the use of green claims and sets the benchmark against which these claims will be judged. It gives consumers a simple, transparent mechanism to assess the environmental merits of a product or service, and provides the means for them to easily make a complaint in the event that they believe they’ve been misled by an environmental claim,” said Scott McClellan, AANA CEO.

The code lays out a set of principles to be considered in relation to any environmental claims an advertiser may want to make about a product or service:

  • Claims are truthful and factual
  • They are relevant to the product or service and its actual environmental impacts
  • They can be substantiated and verified
  • Claims are not misleading, vague or ambiguous
  • Claims reflect relevant legislative, scientific and technological developments, and
  • Claims demonstrate a genuine benefit to the environment and are backed up by current evidence.

The Code will form part of AANA’s existing self- regulatory system and will be adjudicated by the Advertising Standards Board. Complaints against the Code will be considered from 1 January 2010.