Written by Justin J. Prochnow
On October 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a revised version of its “Guides for the Use of Environmental Claims,” better known to many as the “Green Guides,” which describe the types of environmental claims that the FTC may find deceptive under Section 5 of the FTC Act. Recently, Jessica Rich, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stated that “[w]hether they’re buying diapers or dishwashers, consumers base their purchasing decisions on claims about a product’s attributes. . . . Consumers can count on the FTC to make sure claims made by marketers are meeting the standards for truthfulness, accuracy, and substantiation.” These comments, coupled with several recent settlements announced by the FTC and summarized below, make it clear that the FTC intends to continue enforcing the law regarding environment claims vigorously, pursuant to the parameters set forth in the Green Guides.