Presenters at Ad Club Seattle June 17 meeting on Green Marketing. (from l to r) Kate Perringer (Hartman Group), Deborah Morrison (Univ. Oregon), Stephanie Bitner (Starbucks), Hilary Brombert (Egg USA) and Kevin Tuerff (EnviroMedia)
University of Oregon Advertising Professor Deborah Morrison and I were invited to speak at the Ad Club Seattle luncheon this week, and judging from the turnout and related media attention, green marketing is a hot topic. We challenged the 250 advertising and marketing executives to avoid greenwashing, and gave them tips on how to do so.
Here’s one of two Seattle TV news reports: http://www.komonews.com/news/20181229.html
We explained why we started the Greenwashing Index in January and gave some initial observations of what consumers were saying on the Web site. The best question from the audience was, “If all this sustainability and climate change stuff is going to become the law, why should our clients spend money trying to differentiate as green?”
My response: Smart companies that want to be ahead of the pack have between now until 2015 to demonstrate to consumers their brand’s commitment to sustainability. But companies have to get their own environmental house in order. You can’t just change your logo to green or plant a tree and expect consumers to give your brand credit for being an environmental steward. It’s my best guess that in 2012, the new international climate change protocol will kick in, and then it will take 2-3 years for Congress and states to finally implement all the details of the massive Climate Security Act.