Title

It’s not easy being green: The presence of greenwashing in commercial advertisements

Presenter Information

Emily Beahm

Department

Biological Sciences

Major

Biological Sciences

Research Advisor

Robertson, Terry A.

Advisor's Department

Arts, Languages, and Philosophy

Funding Source

FYRE Program

Abstract

Though advertising, at its core, aims to persuade consumers to buy a certain product, it has also developed a more subtle and manipulative agenda -- greenwashing. Greenwashing is the practice of portraying, typically with a false portrayal, one’s company or product as environmentally friendly. In a society which is facing the increasingly pressing threat of climate change, this kind of information is critical to the decision-making process of a consumer. This article examines the extent to which the practice of greenwashing is present in commercial advertisements. Typical consumers viewed a set of 25 advertisements which contained greenwashing and answered a series of questions about them. The information gathered from this study will aid future analysis of the issue, and hopefully facilitate the role of the consumer in the future.

Biography

Emily is a freshman pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in biological sciences. She currently is a part of two clubs on the S&T campus – the Water Environment Federation and the Spanish Club. Through the Water Environment Federation, as an extension of Stream Teams United, she monitors streams in the Rolla area and pursues her passion for the environment. Through the Spanish Club, she attends the Hispanic Film Festival, and works to maintain the cultural diversity of the campus through various activities. It is her goal to use the degree she earns on campus to become part of the ecological science community. She is passionate about the environment and the culture of enjoying it, so a career preserving the natural world is simply an extension of this.

Research Category

Arts and Humanities

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Award

Arts and humanities poster session: Third place

Location

Upper Atrium

Presentation Date

17 Apr 2018, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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Apr 17th, 1:00 PM Apr 17th, 4:00 PM

It’s not easy being green: The presence of greenwashing in commercial advertisements

Upper Atrium

Though advertising, at its core, aims to persuade consumers to buy a certain product, it has also developed a more subtle and manipulative agenda -- greenwashing. Greenwashing is the practice of portraying, typically with a false portrayal, one’s company or product as environmentally friendly. In a society which is facing the increasingly pressing threat of climate change, this kind of information is critical to the decision-making process of a consumer. This article examines the extent to which the practice of greenwashing is present in commercial advertisements. Typical consumers viewed a set of 25 advertisements which contained greenwashing and answered a series of questions about them. The information gathered from this study will aid future analysis of the issue, and hopefully facilitate the role of the consumer in the future.