I was unsure of what advertisement to write about, so I got on YouTube and searched Eco-friendly advertisement. This is one of the first ones I found.
For the first 40 seconds of the ad, the viewer has no idea what it is even attempting to sell. We only see beautiful, lush landscape and a gorgeous waterfall. Suddenly, and extremely unrealistically, a BMW drives out from behind the cascading water. It can be see that something is written on the side of the vehicle, but is not clearly able to be read as “Clean Energy” for a while. Then there is a simple statement of “BMW CleanEnergy. Responsibility and Performance.” Next, the camera zooms into the back of the car where is reads “Hydrogen 7.” The commercial claims that the BMW Hydrogen 7 is the “world’s first hydrogen-powered luxury sedan.”
This commercial struck me a extremely vague, the third sin of greenwashing. The ad does not explain anything about the car other than that is is hydrogen-powered. Additionally, it does not explain what that even means. Because there was a lack of information, I began to wonder if this ad committed any of the other sins, such as hidden trade-offs, lesser of two evils, or false labels.
In search of more information, I found an article claiming that this car is not as green as it seems and may even cause more harm to the environment than a diesel truck. The article states that although hydrogen may be a better alternative than gasoline, the vehicle requires a much larger amount of it. Although it is also able to run on gasoline, it only gets about 17 miles per gallon! In addition, a great amount of energy is needed to produce this hydrogen. Here is the article if you would like to read the complete story: http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/bmw-s-hydrogen-7-not-as-green-as-it-seems-a-448648.html
Another point that I thought of was that liquid hydrogen filling stations would have to be built. Space for these places could cause further destruction of land and would also use a lot of supplies, increasing the world’s consumption.
Let me know what you think!