The Singapore SkylineImage via Wikipedia


SEC combing for errant marketers using label

Lin Yan Qin,

HOPING to catch the attention of eco-conscious shoppers, more products are getting themselves “green” certified, but consumers should make sure that they are indeed getting the genuine things.

Two brands of washing detergent were found to have misled consumers by displaying the Singapore Environment Council’s (SEC) GreenLabel certification on their products although they were not certified, according to a survey by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) and the SEC.

One case - involving Power Plus Anti-Bacterial clothing detergent by CMM Marketing - was found to be due to a miscommunication within the company.

But the second - Spank Floor Cleaning solution marketed by Lifestyle Integral - was the type of indiscriminate use of the label that the SEC and Case were concerned about, said council project manager Yatin Premchand. “The GreenLabel has grown to have more cache with consumers ... so some companies see it as a lucrative marketing tool to be part of that (certified) group,” said Mr Premchand.

With “thousands” of products now bearing the GreenLabel - a voluntary accreditation for environmentally-friendly products - it was natural that a small number hoping to cash in would turn up too, he said.

The council and Case surveyed 38 brands from February to March to check for misuse of the label, as well as check if certified products were displaying the label correctly. Both SEC and Case were satisfied that 95 per cent of the brands surveyed were found to be genuine.

“We have been doing (audits) on our own to check for any misuse of our certification, and will continue to do so for other product categories in future,” said Mr Premchand.

SEC also relies on industry partners and consumers to provide feedback.

“They are active in protecting their brand, and they report to us any cases they pick up,” said Mr Premchand.

Meanwhile, consumers should take note that the Spank product has not been certified, as SEC has been unable to track down the company at its listed address to have the company remove the labels.

CMM Marketing will pull all its Power Plus Anti-Bacterial clothing detergent bearing the GreenLabel from the shelves by Monday, and is considering submitting an application for GreenLabel certification, said Mr Premchand.

The company had apparently applied the GreenLabel to its product thinking it had applied for the certification when it had not, due to an internal error.

Neither company could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Beyond looking for errant marketers, SEC will also continue to educate companies on the benefits of being certified and also getting the certification right - eight brands were found to have displayed the labelling incorrectly, though the products were certified.

From TODAY, News – Friday, 12-Jun-2009

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Post a Comment