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ASA rulings will make businesses consider talking about green claims

16 June 2023

Read our comments on recent ASA rulings.

Dominic Watkins, Head of Consumer Sector at DWF, comments as recent ASA rulings consider the wider context in which green claims are being made. He said:

"Hot on the heels of last week’s energy rulings, this week’s ruling against Anglian pushes the boundaries again on what advertises need to consider when determining if their ads are misleading. Time and time again we are seeing the ASA pulling up companies because of the wider context in which the green claim is being made. Context has always been key, but the scope of that context is changing. Now we can’t just look at the claim in the context of the ad but the context of the company’s wider activities or even historical actions. What is not said is as important as what is not. 

"Everything is under scrutiny and unless businesses are absolutely clear on what they are doing and how they describe it, we are going to keep seeing rulings where the ASA looks into the company’s wider activities or past activities, as seen in the Anglian water ruling. This will mean that many businesses will now start to consider if it is worth talking about the positive steps and worse maybe they stop acting at all if they can't talk about it. While misleading adverts should be controlled and the other not upheld water industry ruling is a positive step, Anglian is continuing a worrying line of rulings in this area."

Further Reading