As part of the market analysis, at the beginning of 2023, the competition authority reviewed the communications of 60 domestic websites as part of a comprehensive rapid inspection.
Green advertising messages are often unclear and confusing, and a significant number of consumers are not aware of the exact meaning of individual claims and markings – among other things, this was revealed in the closed market analysis of the Economic Competition Authority (GVH), in which the national competition authority analyzed green claims and advertising messages.
According to the latest information from the GVH, a market analysis was launched in November 2022 to reveal in detail what kind of environmental protection and green claims companies use for food, clothing, chemical products and cosmetics.
As part of the market analysis, at the beginning of 2023, the competition authority reviewed the communications of 60 domestic websites as part of a comprehensive rapid inspection. GVH experts found that domestic businesses communicate sustainability with very broad interpretations and in a non-systematic manner. Many businesses support their green operation with logos, but the certification organization or criteria system behind them is not always identifiable or available to consumers in Hungarian.
As part of the market analysis, an experiment carried out jointly with the Eötvös Lóránd University (ELTE) showed that displaying green claims on product packaging has an impact on consumers’ image of a given product and their purchase intention. At the same time, a significant number of consumers are not aware of the exact content of the statements they see and in many cases misunderstand them – indicated the GVH.
As a result of the research and based on international experience, the competition office formulated several proposals for the legislator and market players.
GVH experts recommend the development of a multi-level, state-regulated marking system related to sustainability and environmental impact. In the long term, a system marking environmental effects can increase consumer confidence and help consumers to make truly beneficial decisions for themselves and the environment during their purchases.
Among other things, the competition authority draws the attention of businesses to the fact that in their communication related to sustainability and environmental protection, the activities that can achieve the greatest impact in reducing the environmental burden must appear. The claim, logo, and label used must be substantiated and verifiable, and this must be made available to consumers.