The Week: Advertising news - Brands receive green blast

Advertisers are overusing cliched images, including polar bears, melting ice caps, children playing and flowers, to promote their green credentials, according to research from Euro RSCG London.

Ariel, HSBC, Philips and Ben & Jerry's have used polar bears, while Toyota, Volkswagen and Ibuyeco.co.uk have all featured images of flowers in their ads. Russ Lidstone, the chief strategy officer at Euro RSCG, said: "To the consumer, the images fall into a sea of 'green' that fails to challenge or provoke appraisal. The reliance on the same images perpetuates the idea of greenwash - lots of brands using the language of green, potentially without justification."

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