FTC Regional Director presents Green Guides during AAMA Fall Conference

Deanya Kueckelhan, regional director of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Southwest Region, provided an overview of the FTC's role in helping marketers avoid making unfair or deceptive environmental claims during the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) Fall Conference, held Oct. 14-17 in Albuquerque, N.M.A primary focus of Kueckelhan's presentation was an introduction to the FTC's Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims -- also known as the Green Guides -- and included a discussion of general principles of advertising law and the Green Guides, types of marketing claims addressed by the Green Guides and emerging environmental advertising issues.Kueckelhan noted during the presentation that the Green Guides are guides rather than regulations. They help "level the playing field for legitimate business people." Additionally, Kueckelhan gave examples of violations and warnings that occurred in the fenestration industry and explained why the companies were contacted.

Under Section 5 of the FTC Act, the FTC can take action against deceptive claims, which then can lead to FTC orders which prohibit deceptive marketing. Fines can be issued if these orders are later violated.

In order to help manufacturers protect themselves from the pitfalls of using falsified, or deceptive, environmental claims, the FTC Green Guides note the following:

* Disclaimers cannot fix unsubstantiated claims.

* Implied claims and visual images are subject to challenge.

* The entire context of the claim, including connotations, should be considered.

* For reasonable interpretation of the claim, the target audience should be considered.

In the beginning of October, the FTC issued the revised Green Guides, which include new sections on the use of carbon offsets, green certifications and seals, renewable energy and renewable materials claims.

"During her presentation, Deanya Kueckelhan shared with attendees that the AAMA Fall Conference was the first public presentation by the FTC since the new Green Guides were released," says Rich Walker, AAMA's president and CEO. "We are honored to be the first group to hear more about the final version of the Green Guides directly from a representative of the FTC."

600450 FTC Regional Director presents Green Guides during AAMA Fall Conference glassonweb.com
Date: 23 October 2012
Source: AAMA

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