Reckitt Benckiser has performed yet another U-turn over green issues after launching a campaign for Finish to highlight the environmental benefits of using a dishwasher. It comes after RB chief executive Bart Becht dismissed eco-friendly detergents as a “fad.”
Last month it emerged that the household goods giant is gearing up to launch an eco-friendly laundry detergent called VO (MW August 2).
The “green” campaign compares the water and energy consumption of dishwasher-use against cleaning dishes by hand, following research that was carried out across Europe by the University of Bonn. The research claims that dishwashers could reduce water-use by 75%.
The campaign started in Germany, where Finish is marketed as Calgonit, and versions are also running in Spain, Italy and Eastern Europe. The ads were created by Euro RSCG Worldwide. The UK execution carries the tagline “Bosch and Finish – doing our bit every day”.
RB has been forced to withdraw a South African version of the ad after the South African Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint that the company was unable to prove the claims. A spokeswoman for RB says it stands by the research and has pulled the ad pending an investigation.
The company says that the campaign is designed to educate consumers, but it has been greeted with cynicism by some in the industry who point out that RB does not own any hand dishwashing detergent brands.