1. The basis of any claim should be explained clearly and should be qualified where
necessary. Unqualified claims can mislead if they omit significant information.
2. Claims such as ‘environmentally friendly’ or ‘wholly biodegradable’ should not be used without qualification unless advertisers can provide convincing evidence that their product will cause no environmental damage. Qualified claims and comparisons such as ‘greener’ or ‘friendlier’ may be acceptable if advertisers can substantiate that their product provides an overall improvement in environmental terms either against their competitors’ or their own previous products.
3. Where there is a significant division of scientific opinion or where evidence is inconclusive this should be reflected in any statements made in the advertisement. Advertisers should not suggest that their claims command universal acceptance if that is not the case.
4. If a product has never had a demonstrably adverse effect on the environment, advertisements should not imply that the formulation has changed to make it safe. It is legitimate, however, to make claims about a product whose composition has changed or has always been designed in a way that omits chemicals known to cause damage to the environment.
5. The use of extravagant language should be avoided, as should bogus and confusing scientific terms. If it is necessary to use a scientific expression its meaning should be clear.