01/18/2011 01:33:00 PM EST
FTC Announces Settlement with “Tested Green” over Environmental Certifications
The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday that it reached an
agreement with Tested Green settling allegations that the company sold
worthless environmental certifications and falsely represented that its
certifications were endorsed by independent firms when the firms were
actually owned by Tested Green. This settlement is another example of
the FTC's continuing focus on green marketing claims, coming only a few
months after the FTC announced its proposed revisions to the Green
According to the FTC, Tested Green advertised, marketed,
and sold environmental certifications, but never tested any of the
companies it provided with certifications. Tested Green would allegedly
certify any company willing to pay a fee of either $189.95 for a "Rapid"
certification or $549.95 for a "Pro" certification. The FTC claimed
that Tested Green violated the FTC Act by providing the means to deceive
In addition, according to the FTC, Tested Green
deceived consumers by citing its endorsements from the National Green
Business Association and the National Association of Government
Contractors, implying that these were independent organizations when, in
fact, both are owned and operated by Tested Green.
The proposed settlement order prohibits Tested Green and its owner from misrepresenting that:
- an outside party has evaluated a product, service, package, or program based on its environmental attributes;
they have or a third party has the expertise to evaluate the
environmental benefits or attributes of a product, service, package, or
- the number of certifications they have issued; and
- that a product, package, certification, service, package, or program is endorsed by any person or organization.
proposed settlement order also bars Tested Green and its owner from
making any representations about a user or endorser unless they clearly
and prominently disclose any connection they have with the endorser if
The proposed settlement order will be subject to
public comment for 30 days, until February 11, 2011, at which point the
FTC will decide whether to make it final. Written comments can be sent
to: FTC, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.,
Washington, DC 20580. Comments can also be filed electronically here.
The FTC's press release is available here.
If you have any questions about the FTC's announcement, please contact Jason Kessler at (212) 705-4871 or email@example.com, Jeffrey A. Greenbaum at (212) 826-5525 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Terri J. Seligman at (212) 826-5580 or email@example.com, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Advertising Group.
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