On Dec. 14, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it will overhaul its Green Guides, which provide guidance for marketers on how to make “green” and “eco-friendly” advertising claims.
The FTC first announced plans to reexamine the Green Guides last year. It’s also planning to reexamine its widely used Jewelry Guides in 2028.
The Green Guides discuss proper ways for marketers to use terms such as recycled, carbon-neutral, and sustainable without deceiving consumers. The Green Guides were first introduced in 1992, and revised in 1996, 1998, and 2012.
In the 10 years since the last revision, “these kinds of claims have multiplied exponentially,” according to a statement from the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC). “The opening set of questions from the FTC indicates that it is focused on a very broad review of the existing guides, but also asks for specific guidance on ‘recycled’ and ‘sustainable’ terminology.”
JVC plans to coordinate an industry-wide response, it said, noting that the deadline for comments will probably be mid-March. It wants industry members to supply feedback on what changes it would like to see in the Green Guides via this form.
Others who want to submit comments directly to the FTC can do so here.
While not jewelry-specific, the Green Guides do cover jewelry marketers. In 2019, the FTC sent warning letters to eight lab-grown diamond and simulant companies about possible violations of the Green Guides. The agency noted that the Guides prohibit using “general environmental benefit claims,” such as eco-friendly and sustainable, which it said lacked clear definitions.
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