ASA Non-broadcast Adjudication: SEEBOARD Energy Ltd
SEEBOARD Energy Ltd
8 January 2003
Objection to a direct mailing, for an electricity supplier, that stated "... This mailer is produced from recycled paper and is 100% environmentally friendly". The complainant, who stated that mailings could not be recycled in his area and that energy had been used to manufacture and distribute the mailing, challenged whether the mailing was 100% environmentally friendly.
CAP Code (Edition 11)
The advertisers said they took the complaint very seriously and placed great importance on the subject of environmental protection. They stated that the claim was intended to make customers aware that they were addressing environmental concerns. The advertisers said they had confirmed that the complainant''s county had many recycling sites and explained that the mailing was completely recyclable because it contained no staples or glue. The advertisers acknowledged that energy had been used in manufacturing the mailing but disagreed that that prevented it being considered 100% environmentally friendly. They said the paper used in the mailing was made from recycled fibres and Totally Chlorine Free wood-free pulp. The advertisers sent information about the processes used to manufacture the paper, which they asserted were environmentally friendly. They argued that the claim related to the mailing itself and not the associated distribution process. The Authority noted the mailing could be recycled and was made from paper containing 80% recycled fibres. It considered, however, that the claim "100% environmentally friendly" implied that the mailing would cause absolutely no environmental damage throughout its life-cycle. Because the advertisers had not shown that was the case, the Authority concluded that the claim was exaggerated. It asked the advertisers to amend the claim with help from the Committee of Advertising Practice Copy Advice team.