UK drinks brand, Innocent, has been called out by an environmental activist group for “greenwashing” in its advertisements, which claim their drinks can help bolster sustainability.
According to The Guardian, Extinction Rebellion’s sister organisation, Plastics Rebellion (PR), recently lodged a complaint with the UK-based Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding Innocent’s ‘Little Drinks, Big Dreams’ ad campaign.
The ad uses twee animation, gentle music, and cutesy characters to suggest the brand can help save the planet with their fruit and vegetable drinks.
“Reduce, reuse, recycle, ‘cause there is no planet B! If we’re looking after nature, she’ll be looking after me!” The characters sing, while squeezing juice directly from an apple into a bottle, and busying themselves to live in harmony with Gaia.
We make little drinks. We also make little adverts. But as well as making little drinks and little adverts we also have big dreams. Here’s a little advert talking about them. Well, singing about them. pic.twitter.com/vagCOkfrJZ
— innocent drinks (@innocent) May 19, 2021
“Greenwashing is dangerous – in the case of Innocent it’s one thing to hide your ecocidal practices, that’s bad enough, but to go to the next level and pretend you’re ‘fixing up the planet’ is far worse,” PR’s Matt Palmer told The Guardian.
“It means that people will willingly – and unwittingly – opt in to support your project in the belief that they are doing good for the planet.”
Coined by environmentalist, Jay Westerveld in 1986, ‘greenwashing’ refers to a business or organisation marketing themselves as being eco-friendly, despite not putting in the work to minimise their environmental impact.
While the ASA is yet to make ruling on PR’s submission, the latter did take to social media to respond to its recent actions, tweeting, “We are still waiting to see what happens when five pieces of fruit take on an evil corporation”.
— Plastics Rebellion (@PlasticsRebel) February 2, 2022
This is not the first time Innocent – which is owned by Coca-Cola – and PR have butted heads.
Last year, activists occupied Innocent’s West London headquarters, demanding the company pull its ‘Little drinks, big dreams’ advert and apologise for using the visuals to “mislead the public” into thinking buying their drinks will help fix the planet.
PR also accused the drinks manufacturer of producing up to 32,000 plastic bottles a day from its new Rotterdam factory.
An Innocent spokesperson responded to the demonstrations, saying the company was “constantly striving” to reduce its environmental impact,
According to Innocent’s ‘Our Sustainability Promise’ video, the company plans to cut carbon emissions by 20 per cent in the next two years, remove 2500 tonnes of plastic, and ensure their ingredients are 100 per cent sustainably sourced.
Innocent are yet to respond to the ASA submission.
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