I totally agree with what they are saying here about news organizations not wanting to challenge the environmental claims their advertisers are making. Unfortunately, this is the way the industry works. If these huge sources of revenue disappear because they are being questioned by the very people they are paying to run their ads then the media organization is done. I think this is one of those areas where it is up to consumers to educate themselves and question the companies that make green claims. I know that not every consumer will do this, but if they truly care about supporting the environment then they will want to know that the money they are spending on a product is actually helping the world in some way, leading them to do some research.
This was a really interesting article, but like Leah was saying, it really just is unfortunate that the industry works this way. It’s interesting to think that almost all of our exposure to information is still based on the financial interests of others, but I hope that this loophole can be brought to a higher awareness and worked around. It makes perfect sense that news corps would make this decision financially, but I think people still deserve the truth of the matter. It’s just an interesting dilemma in that the truth’s main method of delivery is hindered by it’s own wallet. Again, like Leah was saying, we need to become extremely critical and consciences consumers. We are just now reaching a point of urgency to do so, in that advertisement is more and more frequently taking advantage of our generally uneducated and accepting tendencies. How often do you REALY research the things you buy?
John Stauber’s ultimate conclusion seems like an accurate assumption. He said the media are protecting their advertisers and not calling them out on greenwashing in order to protect their revenue. I can see why news organizations would want to avoid critiquing the companies that fund them. I mean, it makes sense business wise but it doesn’t seem like an ethically sound choice. Issues like this could cast doubt on the ethics of a news organization and end up hurting their bottom line, if ever called to public attention.
It seems like the relationship between the World Wildlife Fund and Coca-Cola is similar to an abusive relationship. Coca-Cola hurts the environment, then “apologizes” and donates money for the harm it’s done. According to the New York Time’s media kit it a similar full page four color costs $107,075. If Coca-Cola wants to donate and help right their wrongs why don’t they just do it instead of drawing attention to themselves?
I agree with Ellie’s observation John Stauber’s conclusion. I also think that self-censorship is a dangerous thing, not in fear of a government’s opposition but to business opportunities. This is a capitalist dilemma and is quite unfortunate but unavoidable. However, if the fake green companies get called out then maybe real green companies would have room to squeeze into the major advertising game. It’s sad that morals take a backseat to cash but it’s the alternative to government-run media.
Greenwashing always reminds me just how reliant we as the public are on the journalists and the media. instead of doing research for ourselves we believe what others tell us. i believe that we long to feel as though we are participating in something good, so we believe exactly what we are told, without truly checking the facts. i admit to this. i love the idea of participating in something that is “green” but i never truly check to see if it is green. i think companies should release accurate numbers about how green they actually are.
“Green washing” is acceptable in my mind if the company is making legitimate attempts to be more eco-friendly. If it is truly one of their attributes, then they can use that as a selling point. If BP were to come out after the oil spill and say that they are the most eco-friendly oil company, I would have a serious problem with the green washing. Coco-Cola donating 20 million to WWF is impressive and should be recognized.
Businesses that do green-washing are never going to openly confess that are not doing all things green but they do not care about the public but just about the money that is coming in. it really just is unfortunate that the industry works this way. News organizations are not going to call out a group that puts money flow into their business because then they would be cut off.
I find it very frustrating that many media outlets don’t question green washing. I think it taints the idea of donating to charities that promote being green. It makes you question and then doubt companies who promote themselves as being green. This is obviously not fair as people suddenly assume that all companies are green washing. I think more media need to feel obligated to report on such subjects so the public can become more aware.
I like it when greenwashing companies show their statistics of how their product is now “earth-friendly” or ‘green’ because then I will trust the product more. Ads that show how they are greenwashing are more effective to the environment and to potential consumers becuase then they will actually buy the product
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Depicts 320,000 light bulbs, equal to the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage (inefficient wiring, computers in sleep mode, etc.).