On-demand webinar: Advertising Injury and Greenwashing

  • Webinar 01 June 2023 01 June 2023
  • UK & Europe

  • Insurance

Advertising injury cover is found as an extension to many liability policies. Rarely do claims arise. However, a growing body of ESG claims around the world has caused these extensions to be re-evaluated.

Disputes have arisen in the food, finance, transport, and manufacturing sectors in which consumers and NGOs argue that companies are making repeatedly misleading claims relating to:

  • Clean energy
  • Environmentally friendly products
  • Healthy products
  • Ethical or environmentally friendly supply chains
  • Moves towards net zero
  • Environmentally friendly investments

Lawsuits are beginning to stack up in all corners of the world. For example:

  • The plaintiffs in Last Beach Cleanup v. TerraCycle, Inc. challenged the marketing of single-use plastics as ‘recyclable’.
  • The plaintiffs in Rosencrants v. Danimer Scientific, Inc, and a related derivative action, challenged claims about biodegradable plastic.
  • Coca-Cola has been named as a defendant in two important test cases relating to plastics, first in respect of its representations about sustainability, and second in relation to its claims about the recyclability of its plastic bottles.

Although the majority of advertising litigation is commenced with a view to effecting behavioural change, there is a concern that insurers may become the unintended victims in a war between NGOs and big business, either through defence cost claims or through legal liability in damages.

These liabilities are arising immediately and are likely to be of concern to underwriters in the field of general, employer’s and product liability.

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