CBS Launches "EcoAds" - Connecting Advertisers with Community Projects

EcoAd photo

Image: PR Newswire

Next time you see an ad for Chevrolet, it could be channeling funds directly to green projects in local communities. That's the concept behind the newly-launched EcoAd, a project from CBS-owned EcoMedia. The underlying premise, or EcoMedia, isn't necessarily new, but the EcoAd itself—an advertisement whose sponsor has chosen to support a community project and which comes with a visual icon to indicate the green benefits—is.

From a press release about the launch:

With the purchase of every EcoAd package, a portion of the dollars spent will go directly toward funding environmental and clean energy projects, all of which have been identified by local municipalities and public entities as being critical, yet under-funded...

As part of the EcoAd advertising package, EcoMedia will team its advertising clients with projects that meet their community relations "green" objectives [and] will result in the completion of projects such as solar installations, energy efficiency retrofits and the "greening" of schools and municipal buildings, all of which create jobs, save taxpayer dollars and cut carbon emissions.

EcoMedia initiatives range from providing ocean and watershed protection to planting trees to promoting recycling, ridesharing and conserving energy and water. Examples of recent projects include an energy efficiency retrofit and solar power installation for Miami City Hall, green makeovers for public schools in San Francisco, Miami and Cook County, Ill., as well as a solar installation at California's Long Beach airport.

Initial advertisers and partners include Chevrolet, Safeway, Boston Scientific, PG&E;, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Pacific Coast Termite, Port of Los Angeles and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Avidia Bank. The ads will be available across all CBS platforms, including the network, local television, radio, outdoor and online.

This might smell a little of greenwashing—and this program certainly opens up opportunity for companies to make themselves look better than they potentially are. But there's also room for legitimate efforts by corporations to support projects that will benefit the environment and local communities, and for people to learn about some positive changes happening on a local level.

More on green advertising
CBS and EcoZone Launch Green Schools Initiative - and the Future of Green Advertising?
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Greenwash Watch: Has Green Advertising Nuked the Fridge?
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