Saturday, 31 December 2011

Environmentally Reckless Marketing Ploys

It is no secret that in order to create products in an industrial world, we have to commit some harm to the environment. While major corporations receive backlash for their treatment of the land we live on, they also make attempts to disguise their actions in the form of “green” marketing. Some companies have been exposed for their false messages while others have blatantly disregarded the sanctity of Mother Earth. Here are 5 of the most devious displays of reckless abandonment ever seen in the marketing world:

Every Mobile Product Commercial

The mobile companies run intensive advertising campaigns that make their products look clean, crisp, and current. If you see any marketing venture for Apple, you are going to get an onslaught of white mixed with slick black and chrome features.

While the advertising is designed to throw you off guard, the truth is that these companies employ millions of workers in foreign countries in sweatshop conditions. Every new release promises the fastest connection ever, but it is really slowing the earth down with billions of tons of waste going directly into landfills and the ocean.

10,000 Red Balloons

In what seems to be an homage to the German singer Nena's 1980's hit “99 Red Balloons,” a San Francisco video game company called TrashTalkFCM released 10,000 red balloons over the entire bay area. While it was no doubt a spectacle, the marketing stunt is wreaking havoc on the birds and marine life which calls the bay home. According to the SF Weekly, the city is fining the company $7,000 and is expecting payment within 30 days.


McDonald's is one of the most egregious exploiters of the environment in the history of industry. They generate billions of tons of waste, create unhealthy food sources for impoverished urban citizens, and release unnecessary amounts of methane into the atmosphere with their factory farmed cattle. Back in the 1980's, before people got into the entire “green” movement, McDonald's introduced a product known as the McDLT.

As evidenced by this extremely dated commercial featuring Jason Alexander, the McDLT was served in a Styrofoam container which kept your burger hot and your veggies crisp. Instead of actually preparing food fresh, the fast food giant decided it was a good idea to make consumers do all of the work themselves and add waste to landfills across America.

GE's Green Week

When GE owned the NBC network, they promoted an annual “Green Week” once or twice throughout the year. While this was a nod to the entire environmental movement, the fact is that GE is a pillar of industry and creates more waste than most developed nations. This bi-annual PR stunt was a clever way into deceiving the public about the inner-workings of the company.


The corn producers of America have the government in their pocket. Not only do these farmers get to control what most of what the entire world eats on a daily basis, they also want to change how we power our vehicles and buildings. A few years back, ethanol became a buzz word for reducing carbon emissions and decreasing our dependence on foreign oil.

In reality, ethanol and other biofuels emit even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and take more energy to cultivate. This is an example of how an extensive lobbying budget and the control of Congress can create just as effective of a marketing campaign than any money spent of television advertising.

Before falling for advertisements claiming the purported convenience or green capabilities of certain products, use your head and analyze what is really going on. Companies need to unload products in order to make profits and will do so at virtually any means necessary. Become a smarter and more informed consumer by visiting sites like The Education Update and Consumer Reports.

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