News & Insights

Going Green – A new statement by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

Brief update of the article ‘Going Green – Advertising and Marketing Environmentally Friendly Products and Services’, published on 7 June 2021.

Both the ASA and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) share certain consumer protection functions and together play an important role in providing guidance to businesses to help avoid “greenwashing”.  They consult jointly to ensure their guidance is aligned to work as complementary aids to business.  Given the growing focus on the environment, they are taking steps to strengthen their regulatory frameworks.

On 23 September 2021, the ASA released a statement announcing further initiatives to ensure regulations remain fit for purpose, given the need for changed behaviours to tackle climate change.  These have a 3 step-approach:

  • Publication of new Advertising Guidance later this year (through the Committee of Advertising Practice) complementing guidance already published.
  • Research into consumers’ understanding and perception of carbon neutral and net zero claims, as well as hybrid claims in the electric car market.
  • Inquiry into specific issues relating to carbon reduction, requiring scrutiny of advertising claims and issues in priority areas like transport, heating, energy, and waste.

The CMA also published its final ‘Green Claims Code’ on 20 September 2021, following the 6 principles outlined in the draft guidance released in May.