Survey: Canadians wearying of 'green'

Aug. 17, 2011 at 8:41 AM
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TORONTO, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Canadians are growing weary of the marketing term "green" and becoming more environmentally complacent, a survey published Wednesday in Toronto indicated.

The advertising agency Bensimon Byrne's survey of 1,500 Canadians in late June and early July was done by The Gandalf Group. It showed the environment was no longer among the top five concerns for Canadians compared with a similar survey three years ago.

Issues that bypassed the environment included gas prices, sustainable pensions, various economic factors and political ethics, the release said.

Ad agency President Jack Bensimon said manufacturers should pay attention to consumer concerns over the pricing of green products.

"Marketers need to take a second look at environmental messaging as a motivator for consumer purchasing decisions," he said. "The issue has lost its salience -- especially for women -- and is taking a back burner to cost and affordability."

Bensimon used the term green-washing to describe how consumers were bombarded with marketing claims on products' environmental benefits.

"The term 'green' is even more used-up and devoid of meaning than it was three years ago," he said. "Cynicism, cost and green-washing have led Canadians to think twice about purchasing environmentally responsible products and companies would benefit from offering conventional pricing and getting hyper-specific about which environmental issues their products benefit."

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