AANA flags consultation of Environmental Claims Code

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) has confirmed to Mumbrella that it is looking to commence consultations of the AANA Environmental Claims Code in 2022, after a review of the Advertising to Children Code.

There has been an increase of complaints under the Environmental Claims Code, although, based on 2020 figures, the complaints only total 0.45% of all complaints to Ad Standards. Recent complaints under the Environmental Claims Code have not been found to be in breach of the code.

AANA has flagged a consultation of the AANA Environmental Claims Code

The object of The Environmental Claims Code is to, according to the code itself: ” ensure that advertisers and marketers develop and maintain rigorous standards when making Environmental Claims and to increase consumer confidence to the benefit of the environment, consumers and industry.”

Some of the recent complaints made under the Environmental Claims Code include complaints about campaigns from Grill’d (separate to the sexuality and violence complaints that were upheld), HSBC and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

The complaints range from the status of Grill’d’s claim that its burgers are sustainable in its campaign, to accusations of greenwashing from a HSBC Facebook post about water quality and the Great Barrier Reef, and a claim by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources that hydrogen is a clean source of energy, the use of which will lower emissions.

None of the complaints were upheld by the Ad Standards Community Panel (the Panel) and none of the advertisements were found to be in breach of the Environmental Claims Code.

AANA’s director of policy and regulatory affairs Megan McEwin told Mumbrella: “We are constantly monitoring and promoting all our Codes. Our focus at the moment is obviously on the new F&B Code however we recently led a webinar for industry on waste and recycling with waste expert Mike Ritchie of MRA Consulting Group and are keeping a close eye on Community Panel decisions, any guidance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on environmental claims as well as developments overseas including the ICC’s revised Framework for Responsible Environmental Marketing Communications.”

McEwin continued: “Next cab off the rank for a review is the Advertising to Children Code and we are also looking to commence consultation of the Environmental Claims Code in 2022.”

In the past, Ad Standards did uphold complaints about a billboard for Australian Gas Networks for making misleading claims about the environmental impact of using gas, based on “the overall impression an average consumer” would have of the advertisement back in July of last year.


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