BBB National Programs Archive
GP Plastics Accepts NAD Decision in ‘Green’ Case; Challenger Continental Products Violated NAD Procedures, NAD Notes
New York, NY – March 9, 2009 – GP Plastics Corp., the maker of PolyGreen plastic bags, has accepted the recommendations issued in December by the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, recommended that the company modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for the product. Advertising by GP Plastics was challenged by Mexico Plastic Company, doing business as Continental Products, a competing provider of plastic bags for the newspaper industry.
GP Plastics, in an advertiser’s statement to NAD, said the company “appreciates the NAD’s recognition and understanding of the company’s efforts to produce a cost-effective product with genuine environmental benefits but is disappointed that the NAD did not agree that the claims ‘100 percent oxo-biodegradable’ and ‘completely recyclable’ are substantiated. GP Plastics also regrets that the NAD failed to recognize that certain of its slogans (e.g., ‘the greatest thing to ever hit the earth’) are puffery.”
The company, which maintains that its product technology offers certain benefits, said that “out of deference to the process of industry self-regulation, GP Plastics will consider the NAD’s recommendations in future advertising and make appropriate modifications.”
Separately, NAD noted that Continental Products, the challenger in the case, violated NAD procedures that prohibit the use of NAD decisions for promotional purposes.
NAD determined that the challenger’s counsel disseminated the decision to third parties, including customers of GP Plastics, and that this dissemination was made prior to the public release of the decision by the NAD.
The self-regulatory process requires fair dealing on the part of both parties; the NAD procedures and participation agreement both note that parties are prohibited from using NAD decisions for promotional purposes.