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This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

ENVIRONMENTAL MARKETING CLAIMS FOR H&BAs/OTCs DECREASE IN FIRST HALF OF 1992, which "may be an indication of the confusion generated by lawsuits, state regulations, and a lack of federal guidelines," the Environmental Protection Agency stated in a recent report, "Evaluation of Environmental Marketing Terms in the United States." Using data from a Marketing Intelligence Service, Ltd. database, the report analyzes the frequency of use of 10 types of environmental claims made on products that were introduced or significantly restaged in the period from January 1989 through June 1992. The claims considered in the report are "toxicity- related," "general environmental," "pollution," "wildlife conservation," "ozone-related," "energy," "source-reduced," "recycled content," "recyclable" and "degradable." In general, the use of environmental marketing claims for H&BA/OTC introductions rose significantly from 1989 to 1990, grew more slowly in 1991 and declined in 1992. During the January 1989- June 1992 study period, 25.9% of all new H&BA products made at least one of the claims. The most frequently used environmental marketing claims for new health and beauty aids in the study period were toxicity- related claims, EPA said. Toxicity-related claims accounted for 30% of all environmental claims for new H&BAs during the three- and-a-half-year study period. Use of the claims, which include terms such as "organic," "no pesticides," "no chemicals" and "no toxic," rose 65.2% in the 1989-1992 period. They do not include claims such as "natural" and "no additives" because they "require certain contexts to be considered environmental claims," the report notes. The EPA report also predicts that voluntary environmental marketing guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission last July "will undoubtedly affect the marketplace, but precisely how cannot be assessed at this time." On the issue of environmental marketing, the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association and the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association filed a joint petition with the FTC in April 1991 requesting environmental marketing guidelines. NDMA currently is in the process of reviewing the EPA report.

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