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And the ten least green brands are…

972786_suculent.jpgA survey says:

1. Shell
2. Exxon/Esso
3. McDOnalds
4. BP
5. BA
6. Ryanair
7. BAA
8. Coke
9. E.ON
10. British Gas

It’s odd though – Marks and Spencer was listed as the UK’s greenest brand followed by Innocent smoothies and The Body Shop.

Marks and Spencer ranked above Airtricity – a massive wind farm company that was eaten up by Scottish and Southern. It wasn’t even mentioned.

Waitrose and Tesco also ranked in the top ten. Something’s not right about this. Who did this YouGov survey ask? Marketing managers with one GCSE who think packaging is invisible?

Anyway – somehow car company Honda features in the top ten alongside washing detergent company Ecover. And McDonalds and Coke list alongside fossil fuel companies and airline industry as least environmentally friendly.

The survey of 1,000 marketing professionals was carried out by trade magazine Marketing Week

Top ten green brands:
1. M&S
2. The Body Shop
3. Innocent
4. Co-OP
5. ECover
6. Honda
7. Waitrose
8. Tesco
9. BP
10. Greenpeace

4 Comments

  • Berry D'Arcy
    Posted March 27, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Long live advertising, seems to be the conclusion of this poll, since guess what, most of the 10 greenest brands are also those that have been shouting about it. Yes, the poll was conducted amongst marketers, whose job is to pay attention to advertising, but similar results have been found in studies of the general population.

    This is no surprise, since in the absence of reliable information, time, inclination and expertise, we naturally default to thinking that those companies making a big noise must have something good to say. Therein lies our susceptibility to greenwash, and indeed the foundation of brand marketing.

    At the other end of the scale we seem to start with the assumption; airtravel, energy companies – bad. And while we’re at it, lets throw in previously maligned corporates – Sky, Coke, McDonalds. Despite the fact that their ignominy has been largely derived from wider CSR issues, more than their environmental track record per se. Yet another reminder of the need for brands to be hypervigilant, since not only do people have long memories, it seems they generalise as well.

    The big energy companies unsurprisingly come out badly, taking 5 of the 10 places in the least green list. Their business is so bound up with fossil fuels that they are not going to be truly ‘Beyond Petroleum’ anytime soon, and so may be seen as inherently ungreen. Combine this with the fact that, whilst our modern day lives depend on these companies, they operate largely behind the scenes, apart from the payment of bills. Oh, and the much publicised issue of the ‘obscene’ profits. And it’s easy to see why they’re more front of mind, and perhaps also easier to criticise.

    I’m disappointed that EDF didn’t get a specific mention on the bad list. Not because I can offer a critique of their environmental performance vis a vis other energy companies, but because they seem to have done a singularly bad job of their advertising. Green advertising brings with it a new responsibility. Not only does the advertising have to shift stuff, but it also has be mindful of its contribution towards the green agenda. There’s no reason why you can’t achieve both goals at the same time. Though EDF seem to have failed on both counts.

    ‘Its not easy being green’ is the strapline. Great, I’m feeling depressed already. If you’ve seen a website execution, you’ll see a series of images rolling by through despoiled landscape to floral abundance, accompanied by the sound of children singing. Creative taboos abound: sickly sweet, hyper manipulative and cliched.

    Had I had the slightest inclination, I could’ve clicked the link and would’ve found another me too green website with the requisite features – calculators and pledges.
    Come on EDF, you put a lot of money behind this campaign, you can do better and more good !

  • Berry D'Arcy
    Posted March 27, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Long live advertising, seems to be the conclusion of this poll, since guess what, most of the 10 greenest brands are also those that have been shouting about it. Yes, the poll was conducted amongst marketers, whose job is to pay attention to advertising, but similar results have been found in studies of the general population.

    This is no surprise, since in the absence of reliable information, time, inclination and expertise, we naturally default to thinking that those companies making a big noise must have something good to say. Therein lies our susceptibility to greenwash, and indeed the foundation of brand marketing.

    At the other end of the scale we seem to start with the assumption; airtravel, energy companies – bad. And while we’re at it, lets throw in previously maligned corporates – Sky, Coke, McDonalds. Despite the fact that their ignominy has been largely derived from wider CSR issues, more than their environmental track record per se. Yet another reminder of the need for brands to be hypervigilant, since not only do people have long memories, it seems they generalise as well.

    The big energy companies unsurprisingly come out badly, taking 5 of the 10 places in the least green list. Their business is so bound up with fossil fuels that they are not going to be truly ‘Beyond Petroleum’ anytime soon, and so may be seen as inherently ungreen. Combine this with the fact that, whilst our modern day lives depend on these companies, they operate largely behind the scenes, apart from the payment of bills. Oh, and the much publicised issue of the ‘obscene’ profits. And it’s easy to see why they’re more front of mind, and perhaps also easier to criticise.

    I’m disappointed that EDF didn’t get a specific mention on the bad list. Not because I can offer a critique of their environmental performance vis a vis other energy companies, but because they seem to have done a singularly bad job of their advertising. Green advertising brings with it a new responsibility. Not only does the advertising have to shift stuff, but it also has be mindful of its contribution towards the green agenda. There’s no reason why you can’t achieve both goals at the same time. Though EDF seem to have failed on both counts.

    ‘Its not easy being green’ is the advertising strapline. Great, I’m feeling depressed already. If you’ve seen a website execution, you’ll see a series of images rolling by through despoiled landscape to floral abundance, accompanied by the sound of children singing. Creative taboos abound: sickly sweet, hyper manipulative and cliched.

    Had I had the slightest inclination, I could’ve clicked the link and would’ve found another me too green website with the requisite features – calculators and pledges.
    Come on EDF, you put a lot of money behind this campaign, you can do better and more good !

  • Peter
    Posted March 27, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Great… er… minds…!

    http://junkk.blogspot.com/2008/03/poll-mwyougov-green-issues-marketers.html

    At least these things give folk like us something to write about.

    That said, I rather dread seeing those perhaps surprisingly higher than warranted whacking out a ‘Top 10 Green Brand’ logo in the next few days.

    Having taken part (and only having done so to find out what the questions might be… I wonder how many ‘so much to do, so little time’ top marketing gurus would have devoted the time), and now basking in the glow of being deemed a ‘top marketing professional’ (the qualification criteria were ruthless, I tell you), it is refreshing to see that ‘we’ are only human: ‘Quick… name a green brand!!!!!’ Er… Toyota Prius? No… HSBC (er, actually, what happened to them? They have spent oodles!).

    Like Brucie might say (well, once have said); ‘Good game, good game!’.

  • Tom Konrad
    Posted March 27, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Sounds like these are the best at green branding, not the best at being green. That’s what you get when you survey marketing professionals.

Comments are closed.

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