brands under fire
Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 29, 2013 11:31 AM
Walmart's brand has taken a steady battering over the past year, and part of it is related to sustainability.
Last March, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance issued a report called "Walmart's Greenwash" that said the leading retailer's sustainability campaign "has done more to improve the company's image than to help the environment." According to the report, Walmart's greenhouse gas emissions are increasing rapidly and its energy efficiency and renewable projects are "too modest" for the size and scale of the company's operations.
Add to that Walmart's latest environmental slap in the face: On May 28, the company pleaded guilty to dumping hazardous waste in California and Missouri, agreeing to pay more than $81 million in fines. In the greater scheme of things, the money is the least significant portion of the problem for Walmart. With $27.87 billion of operating profit last year, The Atlantic estimates that $81 million is little more than a single day's worth of profit for the retailer.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 2, 2013 03:36 PM
As Kermit the Frog taught an entire generation, “It's not easy being green.”
Clorox’s Green Works is a case study in the steep learning curve of green branding. The line of environmentally friendly housecleaning products launched in 2008 with an endorsement from the Sierra Club, which helped boost its market penetration and credibility.
That $1.3 million contract ends in December and the brand chose Earth Day to announce a strategic marketing revamp, including a new tone of voice (embodied by its new manifesto, posted on Facebook and its website) and the removal of the Sierra Club logo from all Green Works packaging, a clear sign of the times as green cleaning products have been forced to reduce their premium prices and re-position the sell to deflect declining sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 5, 2012 12:59 PM
The urban Chinese consumer has greater confidence that green products are better for the environment than their North American counterparts, according to the a new study from DuPont — its China Green Living Survey: Consumer Awareness and Adoption of Biobased Products.
Seventy percent were either very or somewhat confident that green products are better for the environment, while of North American consumers, 65% of Canadians and 60% of Americans held similar beliefs.
The findings have exponential potential for greening-up in the world’s largest consumer market with growing demands for China to meet its sustainability targets. “Greater adoption of biobased products in China could help the country reduce its energy intensity and carbon emissions and advance a new era of green manufacturing,” stated Jeremy Xu, VP, Global Sales and Applications, DuPont Industrial Biosciences.
A majority of Chinese consumers are likely to purchase apparel, personal care, hygiene and household products made from biobased ingredients that offer environmental benefits. More than three quarters of respondents would definitely or likely buy such products in a range of categories including: Detergents 82%, Personal hygiene 81%, Clothing 78%, Personal Care Products 77%.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 5, 2012 02:19 PM
The Chanel Spring/Summer 2013 women's ready to wear runway show at the Grand Palais in Paris on Tuesday raised a few eyebrows, and not just for the new outfits from designer Karl Lagerfeld but for the design of the sets the 68 models strutted on, or the celeb wattage of Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez and her bedazzled four-year-old daughter in the front row.
It was hard to miss the 13 towering wind turbines that dominated the stage, and the solar panels that graced the stage and inspired the tiles on the catwalk. Green, it seems, must be the new black. What’s sexier than a few turbines? "Energy is the most important thing in life," Lagerfeld, who's known for his grand pronouncements, stated. "If I had to build a house, I would put (wind turbines) in the garden.”Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 1, 2012 06:48 PM
The Federal Trade Commission’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, commonly referred to as the “green” guides, were first published in 1992 to help marketers and advertisers avoid deceptive and far-reaching eco claims without proof or qualification. The final revisions were released Monday with a press conference outlining the changes.
“The introduction of environmentally friendly products into the marketplace is a win for consumers who want to purchase greener products and for producers who want to sell them,” stated FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “But this win-win can only occur if marketers’ claims are truthful and substantiated. The FTC’s changes to the Green Guides will level the playing field for honest business people and it is one reason why we had such broad support.”Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2012 01:11 PM
The vast majority of American consumers don't care whether their foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Food executives and think tanks will tell you that and cite, for example, how Indiana local bakery Aunt Nellie's bombed when it introduced a specifically labeled "non-GMO" bread a couple of years ago.
But California isn't most of America, with a more health-conscious outlook than most states. That's why mainstream food companies are in a hot and heavy contest against GMO opponents over Proposition 37, The Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, a piece of state legislation that, if passed in November, would require GMO-containing products to disclose that on labels, and make California the first state to mandate genetically modified food.
Similar to what happened to automakers after California took an extreme position on cutting emissions, essentially imposing that higher standard on cars sold all over the country, food and beverage companies are concerned that California will serve as a bellwether in GMO labeling regulation as well.
In a particular bind in this fight are the many mainstream food conglomerates that now own organic brands, which by definition don't include GMOs: Kellogg, owner of GMO poster brand Kashi; General Mills, owner of the Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Larabar and Food Should Taste Good brands; Coca-Cola, owner of Odwalla and Honest Tea; PepsiCo; and Dean Foods, owner of Horizon Organics.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on August 27, 2012 03:05 PM
About a year ago, Volkswagen announced its new "People's Car Project" (自造车) in China. The idea was to crowd source unique concepts from Chinese Internet users. About 120,000 ideas later, VW chose three and displayed them at the Beijing Auto Show in May. One of those three ideas was a VW "Hover Car" (磁悬球形车).
That car is now here. Kind of… It's just one more piece of VW's massive push.
VW Beetle, meet the VW "Moth."
In a promotional video shot in the Chinese city of Chengdu, VW introduces the Hover Car and allows the parents of "Dark520" to take a spin. Dark520 is the handle of the People's Car Project user who suggested the hover project. Continue reading...