Greenwash Watch: Has Green Advertising Nuked the Fridge?

greenwashing ad photo

Jonasrisen at the always interesting Greenline does a wonderful job of collecting the most obvious and awful greenwashing ads in the architectural press, starting with the most egregious of them all, the hippie ad for LG Eden countertops. He writes:

"Advertising has an especially important role in presenting the idea of sustainability. Used properly, it can educate and activate the public to make the better decision for themselves and the world around them. Used ineffectively, advertising can make an idea cliché. It can reduce the impact of any movement by blanketing the world with a diluted and unfocused message."

It is not even an sensible message; anyone who has ever been near a stable or a volcano knows that nature doesn't necessarily have low emissions.

window in a tree photo

"Presented here are good examples of advertising with ‘green’ as a theme. The selected ads are not what I consider greenwashing, but do skirt a line where a product becomes dubiously associated with nature. Photoshop is wonderful and it can do some amazing things, but even it has a hard time blurring the boundary between ceiling tiles and a tree canopy or a building and a polar bear or a window and a tree."


I think it has already gone past that point; it is everywhere, green advertising has nuked the fridge with such imagery. Almost every single ad in the architectural trade press has kids, trees or polar bears in them, one's eyes glaze over completely and don't even notice any more.


It isn't even good photoshop or a coherent message; what is green about having a monster condo eating up green fields and trees? Oh, they are selling insulation. It saves energy; that makes it all OK.

We don't have time for this; tell us what you are selling, what it does and why it is green. Leave the photoshop in the box. ::Greenline
More from Greenwash Watch:
How To Spot Greenwashing
Greenwashing Index: Rate Your Favorite
Reading Between the Labels
Greenwash Watch: Solar Panels Do Not A Green House Make
Greenwash Watch: Greenwashing Your Countertop: LG Eden
The Semiotics of Greenwashing

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