Govt plots clampdown on dubious 'green' claims in ads

The Government is expected to order a clampdown on "green" claims in ads amid concern that consumers are being misled by advertisers.

The move follows an inquiry by MPs that called on the Advertising Standards Authority to take a tougher line on environmentally friendly claims.

It recommended that the ASA get the extra powers, sanctions, resources and training it needed to "review all instances of dubious environmental claims".

The all-party Commons Environmental Audit Committee said in its report: "There is a growing problem with greenwash - the use of insubstantial or meaningless environmental claims to promote a product."

A government source said of the study: "We will respond to the report in due course, and we will take its recommendations very seriously."

The ad industry is likely to argue that it is already in the process of tightening its code of practice. Its review follows concerns about the use of phrases such as "low emission" and "carbon neutral" in ads. A study by the ASA last year found that more than 90 per cent of ads making "green" claims abided by the code.