Six Big Mistakes Green Copywriters & Marketers Should Avoid…


Green marketing is becoming increasingly more popular, now that it’s generally believed that we’re past the tipping point on global warming. Plus, companies including Wal-Mart are pushing sustainable packaging throughout the entire supply chain with their packaging scorecard, which takes effect this month. And with socially responsible investors (SRIs) carrying trillions of dollars of clout these days, green initiatives–or lack thereof–could affect your company’s stock valuation.

Environmental marketer, terrachoice, has a list of six sins that B2B copywriters and marcom pros should avoid if they want to appear credible and genuinely green. Here’s the short list, but read the terrachoice full text version, Six Sins of Greenwashing.

  1. The Hidden Trade-off
    Good copywriters always emphasize the positive, but be careful when it comes to green. If the one positive is really overshadowed by numerous negatives, then you could be opening yourself up for a challenge later. Green is more than a single environmental benefit.
  2. No Proof
    Whether you’re writing for green or not, good copywriters back up what they write about with proof. Otherwise it’s nothing more than puffery, which won’t get a response.
  3. Vagueness
    This is a favorite of copywriters who lack sufficient source material or have neglected to do the research. Clear, concise copywriting works for green and general marketing communications.
  4. Irrelevance
    Clever copy that may trick someone into believing something is a good thing eventhough it has no relevance to the product or service is misleading. A phone company does this when they talk about their upload speeds being 20% faster than cable. How much uploading do you really do? Helloooo… most people are downloading
  5. Fibbing
    I think this one’s pretty self-explanatory…
  6. The Lesser of Two Evils
    Making green claims about known environmental pollutants. That’s not to say that copywriters shouldn’t emphasize, for example, a product has been reformulated to be more environmentally-friendly, you can’t make “green” claims if somethings not truely green.

That’s integrated marcom!

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One Response to “Six Big Mistakes Green Copywriters & Marketers Should Avoid…”
  1. Joan Damico says:

    Interesting article “green investment funds” from the Rutland Herald: Investors Banking On Green Stocks.

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