Saturday, January 19, 2008

Recycled Overclaims

"The reputation of Japan's paper industry lay in tatters today after the market leader, Oji Paper, admitted it had lied for more than a decade about the volume of recycled paper used in some of its products.

The revelation comes days after the country's second-biggest paper company, Nippon Paper Group, admitted it had made similarly false claims.

In one case Oji Paper said the amount of recycled paper in its copy and printing paper was as high as 50% when the real figure was between 5% and 10%.

The firm's envelopes contained, at most, 30% of recycled paper, although consumers had been led to believe it was as high as 70%. Some products contained no recycled material at all.

"We had let the ratio of recycled paper fall amid rising shipments while the amount of recycled paper did not grow," Oji Paper's president, Kazuhisa Shinoda, told reporters in Tokyo."

The Guardian-

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ark Assembly Instruction

Italy has been the sources of some really clever advertising meant to promote global warming awareness.

Copy reads: Global warming is bringing us closer to a catastrophe of biblical proportions. Let’s make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.

Advertised brand: Global warming Effects
Advert title: Ark Instructions
Advertising Agency: Unbranded Communication, Milan, Italy
Creative Director: Gianluca Ghezzi
Art Director: Manuela Valtolina
Copywriter: Elia Canteri
Illustrator: Manuela Valtolina

Thursday, January 10, 2008

19 million = 766 million

"19 million people living in New York State have the same carbon footprint as 766 million people living in the world’s 50 poorest countries."

Source: UN

Cindy Gallup on Planning for Good and Agencies Doing Good

Cindy Gallup, the current chair of The Talent Business, Americas and the former head of BBH in the US, was a guest at the recent Evening of Goodness in New York. We asked her what she thought about PFG and the overall idea of agencies and brands doing good. Here is her response.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What's your consumption level?

There's an excellent piece in the NY Times today by Jared Diamond, the author of Guns, Germs and Steel and all-around expert in the dynamics of societies. He talks about some of the issues behind climate change and explains the underlying reason why we need to reduce our consumption. Much of it comes down to the difference in consumption rates between first-world and third-world nations. 

In the 'west' we consume resources at 32 times the rate of people in the third world. Each one of us consumes in a day the same resources, and creates the same waste, that 32 Indonesians or Kenyans do.
The problem, of course, is that third-world economies are quickly catching up, and the goal for many people in those countries is to reach a 'western' level of consumption. But if the whole world started consuming at our inflated rates, it would be the equivalent to having 72 billion people on the planet at today's consumption rates. And we're having trouble sustaining things as is. 

But it's patronizing and insulting to ask those economies to forgo a goal which we already enjoy. So the challenge is really how do we find a way to stabilize worldwide consumption -  reducing our consumption to a level to which they can grow. This makes it sound like we need to undertake radical sacrifices, but Diamond points out something important - resource consumption is not really tied to standard of living. Our consumption patterns are so wasteful that we could cut them in half and not notice a difference.