Making an Educated Choice in the Cleaning Aisle

Media Morph: Seventh Generation Label Reading Guide

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NEW YORK ( -- Every week Ad Age Digital's Media Morph looks at how emerging technology is changing the way consumers get their information and media companies and advertisers present their messages. This week: Seventh Generation Label Reading Guide.

Seventh Generation Label Reading Guide
WHAT IT IS: Ever wonder just what's in that super-powered antibacterial cleaner you're spraying all over your counter? What, exactly, is Triclosan after all? A new mobile web application created by 180, Los Angeles, for Seventh Generation will expose the truth about ingredients in products -- the good, the bad and the ugly.

THE IDEA BEHIND IT: "There's a lot of greenwashing going on, and this is a company that's about transparency," said William Gelner, executive creative director at 180, Los Angeles. "We wanted to give consumers tools to aid in the notion of transparency." The app was part of a recent 180 pitch for the environmentally safe household cleaner company that focused on digital media and marketing. The campaign slogan: "Show the world what's inside.

HOW IT WORKS: Banner ads will push people to a microsite where they can enter their phone numbers and have a link with the app download sent to them. They can use the app to look up ingredients at the point of purchase, in the grocery aisle, to determine what's safe for their families. Because it's a web-based app, it will work with any internet-enabled phone an iPhone app will be available soon.

THE BIG PICTURE: Marketers are increasingly looking for ways to take advantage of the device that's always on and always around. This is yet another example of a marketer adding utility to the mobile phone through an application. The app can also live as a widget on the web. Oh yeah, and Triclosan? According to the Label Reading Guide, it is a synthetic chemical used to preserve the antimicrobial agents in disinfectants. It is irritating to the eyes and skin, has been found in the breast milk of persons who use it regularly and is toxic to aquatic life.
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