17 December 2020, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has published its so-called “Green Marketing” notice, which assists undertakings in developing appropriate advertising practices regarding the environmentally friendly and sustainable nature of their products and services.
The expectation of environmentally friendly operation has become ever more prevalent in recent years and the ratio of environmentally conscious customers, who take into account the effect of their consumption practiced on our planet, has increased in parallel. The experience of the GVH shows that this has led to numerous products and services being promoted with “green claims”, that is advertising messages concerning the environmentally friendly and sustainable operation of the manufacturer or service provider. The phenomenon of the so-called greenwashing is becoming more and more common among these advertisements. Greenwashing means the use of marketing and PR strategies that help an undertaking appearing to be environmentally friendly and to take responsibility for environmental protection, while this is not actually reflected in its operation or such claims cannot be proven to apply to the product or service in question.
In a previous summary of recommendations, the GVH has already warned consumers of such misleading advertisements, while this time it published a notice for undertakings to assist them in developing commercial communication practices that help them to avoid infringing the law. The guide summarises the criteria to be kept in mind when designing advertisements: it discusses – among others – the requirements for providing proof of certain typical green claims (e.g. “recyclable”, “bio”, “organic” or “biodegradable”) and the legal framework of using certification marks.
By publishing the notice, the GVH aims to support fair competition among undertakings as effectively as possible while also raising the awareness of consumers.
The notice is available on the website of the GVH.
GVH Press Office