UK Bans Cotton USA Ad Over Sustainability Claim

by | Mar 15, 2008

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cottonusaad.jpgLast week, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority banned (read ASA Adjudication) a campaign for Cotton USA for making misleading claims promoting the material as sustainable, The Guardian reports.

The ad read, “Soft, sensual and sustainable, it’s Cotton USA!” The text on the landing page the ad directs people to now reads, “Pure, sensual and renewable, it’s Cotton USA!” But its not known if the landing page text always used the word “renewable” instead of “sustainable.”

Advertising regulators received three complaints challenging the ad, arguing that cotton is a “pesticide- and insecticide-intensive crop” that could “seriously deplete” groundwater in the U.S.

However, CCI argued that US cotton production met “reasonable and generally accepted” definitions of sustainability. “In light of the recent ASA ruling regarding the use of the word ‘sustainable’ in our advertising, we firmly believe that our U.S. cotton production systems are sustainable and environmentally sound,” Allen Terhaar, executive director of  Cotton Council International said in a statement.

In January, the ASA said that British Gas broke advertising rules by describing its “greenest” dual fuel package as “zero carbon.” Last year, a Lexus ad was banned for its environmental claims.

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