Some marketers see an opportunity to exploit the language of sustainability by exaggerating consumer benefits and building misconceptions, writes Chairman-CEO Larry Light of Arcature, for Advertising Age.
Light points to the use of "Fresh" in food marketing as an example:
"We know that people want fresh foods. Fresh is fabulous. But what does fresh really mean? Does it mean freshly made? Freshly made in front of me? Made from ingredients that were once fresh? Prepared fresh every day? What does 'packaged for freshness' mean?"
The word "natural," which unlike "organic" has no (albeit loose) legal definition, suffers from similar complications.
A little hype is a hazard of the profession. The problem occurs when companies sacrifice responsible behavior in favor of short-term profitable growth, Environmental Leader suggests.
But, true to his surname, Light points out, "Sustainability Opportunity is a great chance to change the perception that marketing is contributing to social problems, to a belief that marketing can be an effective part of the solution."
Return to marketing news headlines
View Marketing News Archive