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Consumers: BGH: Advertising must explain what “climate neutral” means

Consumers: BGH: Advertising must explain what “climate neutral” means
Consumers: BGH: Advertising must explain what “climate neutral” means

Sustainability is on trend – climate neutrality is good for advertising. But does this mean the reduction or financial compensation of emissions? This must be included in advertising in the future.

If companies advertise with an ambiguous environmentally-related term, the advertisement itself must explain what this term actually means. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday in a ruling. In this specific case, it was an advertisement with the term “climate neutral”. The liquorice and fruit gum manufacturer Katjes had advertised with this term in a food trade magazine. The manufacturing process itself is not emission-free, but to compensate, the company supports climate protection projects through an environmental consultant.

The Frankfurt Competition Authority had filed a lawsuit because it considered the advertising to be misleading. Consumers had been denied important information – for example about how climate neutrality is achieved. The highest German civil court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on Thursday and ordered Katjes to stop advertising. An explanation of the term “climate neutral” was therefore necessary primarily because reducing CO2 emissions and compensating for these emissions are not equivalent measures for achieving climate neutrality.

Source: Stern

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