St. Patrick’s Day OK – but watch out for ‘green’

Being 'green' won't be as easy for advertisers once rules are imposed by the Competition Bureau and Canadian Standards Association.

If guidelines currently being prepared in Canada’s capital had been in place a few months ago, Lululemon Athletica probably wouldn’t have waded into hot water by attributing environmental benefits to its VitaSea clothing line.

In the near future, businesses advertising green products in Canada will have to prove such claims under stricter guidelines imposed by the Ottawa-based Competition Bureau and Canadian Standards Association. The two organizations are set to release national rules demanding that the use of terms such as ‘environmentally friendly,’ ‘recycled’ and ‘chemical-free’ are backed up with factual corroboration.

In a similar move down south, the US Federal Trade Commission is currently holding workshops to get consumer input to underpin an update of its ‘green’ guidelines for advertisers.