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GREEN BACKLASH: CONSUMER SKEPTICISM COULD COST BUSINESSES THAT BANK ON ENVIRONMENTAL ADVERTISING

 GREEN BACKLASH: CONSUMER SKEPTICISM COULD COST BUSINESSES
 THAT BANK ON ENVIRONMENTAL ADVERTISING
 BIRMINGHAM, Mich., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Companies seeking an edge in today's tough business climate have increasingly turned "green" -- relying on environmental claims, content and style in their advertising, to add value and make their products more appealing. Now, that trend has taken an ugly turn.
 "As green ads have gotten more common, turning up nearly everywhere, for every kind of product and business, consumers have started to get very skeptical," according to Ruth Stec, environmental director for Robert Michael Ellen & Company, a Birmingham-based ad agency that specializes in environmental advertising.
 "More and more consumers are questioning environmental claims. That's no surprise, considering some of the questionable ads they see," Stec continued. "They can't be sure whether a company truly cares about the environment, or if it's just jumping on the green bandwagon to exploit a trend and make its usual products more profitable."
 "There's a backlash building," she lamented. "With environmental ads being used everywhere, for nearly everything, it's no wonder consumers have begun turning off, and seeing green claims as more of the same old hype they've been hearing all along."
 "That's going to change the character of environmental advertising and marketing," Stec added. "Companies that have 'ridden the green wave' for the last couple of years are already bailing out, figuring that green ads are just too much trouble. They have good reason: With tighter regulation and more critical consumers, arbitrary environmental ads just won't cut it. But," she concluded, "that doesn't mean advertisers or agencies ought to give up green just because it's tougher."
 "Experience tells us that good green ads do make a major difference in today's marketplace," in the words of Robert Michael Ellen & Company President Bob Stec. He advises advertisers and agencies to send a green message when they truly have something environmental to say, and warns against exaggerated or substandard claims. "In fact," he added, "in an effort to improve environmental advertising, we're offering businesses and their agencies a no-cost review of their green ads. Those ads will be evaluated according to RME's Green Index -- a scale that rates every aspect of an ad's environmentalism, from style and substance, to the message, medium, and even its ecology."
 To request that no-cost review, advertisers or agencies should send copies of their ads (print or broadcast) to:
 Green Index(C) Review
 Robert Michael Ellen & Company
 30600 Telegraph Road, Suite 2161
 Birmingham, MI 48010
 In return, advertisers and agencies will receive a review, analysis and rating, offering insight into their ad's environmental and market impact.
 -0- 5/26/92
 /NOTE: Robert Michael Ellen & Company is also making the Green Index available to a limited number of journalists. Feel free to submit as many as three advertisements (print and/or broadcast) for evaluation, and to talk with Ruth Stec about the ad reviews and their results. In those interviews, she'll be glad to discuss the "green backlash," RME's innovative Green Index, and how businesses and agencies can make the most of environmental advertising.
 CONTACT: Barbara Kenig of In The Public Eye, 313-647-7300, for Robert Michael Ellen & Company/ CO: Robert Michael Ellen & Company, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: ADV SU:


KK -- DEFNS2 -- 3566 05/26/92 07:33 EDT
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Date:May 26, 1992
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