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Makes the company seem green, although most products can be harmful to the environment


I believe this ad is great for Sherwin Williams' marketing. I have painted with Sherwin Williams green sure paints before and love them. When they say low odor they mean it! Their products were safe for my family and pets. I believe that this ad deserves a high score because they actually do what they say. I also love the implication of painting with green paint and painting grass. I think this is a great ad that is truthful and tells what this company stands for. I also think that is draws awareness to the "green" homeowners out there that Sherwin Williams sells paint that they can use in their homes. I am a very health and environment conscious person and this ad got my attention. With just a simple picture the ad tells you everything you need to know. Sherwin Williams carries green products that they can stand behind. The ad is simple and minimalistic and that is what I like the most. A natural life style is all about getting down to the basics and that is what this ad betrays.

This Sherwin Williams advertisement to promote its new Green Sure label is guilty of at least 3 sins of greenwashing. (The complete "six sins of greenwashing" were outlined by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, Inc.) 1. Sin of No Proof: "Any environmental claim that cannot be substantiated by easily accessible supporting information, or by a reliable third-party certification". Andrew Pace, of Degree of Green (a holistic rating system that assesses the sustainability of building products), assessed Sherwin-Williams' efforts in this Inhabitat article (http://inhabitat.com/2009/01/22/is-it-green-sherwin-williams-paint/). He said that Sherwin-Williams' "program was internally created by their own marketing people, so there is no third party verification of the claims. This is akin to Phillip Morris saying that nicotine is not addictive". 2. Sin of Vagueness: "A claim that is so poorly defined that its real meaning is likely to be misunderstood by the intended consumer." According to the article, "The GreenSure paints do have 50 g/l or fewer VOCs, which is as strict as the GreenSeal and LEED building standards. None of the GreenSure paints include acetone or ammonia in their ingredients (even though those ingredients are not regulated by the EPA), and they don't include a long list of ingredients like benzene and formaldehyde—although they may be artificially inflating that list a bit. The avoided ingredients include lead, which is good because the EPA banned lead from paint except in trace amounts." (This avoidance of lead when it is already banned also goes with the "sin of irrelevance" below.) Sherwin-Williams does offer some low-VOC paint, yet by no means are all of their product lines planned "with nature in mind" as the ad claims. 3. Sin of Irrelevance: "Making a statement that may be truthful but is unimportant and unhelpful for consumers seeking environmentally friendly products." Pace said that many efforts such as recycling stretch wrap used in shipping, using heat reflective roofs, installing recycling programs and streamlining national distribution to reduce energy consumption are happening at the Sherwin-Williams' but not necessarily for their "green" effects. He said that though these efforts are "all good things to do," they are mostly being undertaken for their "common sense basis, not because it's considered green. It just makes good business sense. We would classify these types of claims as greenwashing." There are, however, a few genuinely eco-friendly things that Sherwin Williams is doing: All GreenSure products come in 100% post-consumer recycled packaging with labels printed in soy ink. Other attempts to become more "green" : They have established a sustainability initiative called "EcoVision," a company-wide approach to look at all aspects of their business and see where they can become more environmentally responsible (e.g. using biodiesel fuel in Sherwin-Williams trucks, though that change is still being tested).