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For the first time, one rule will apply nationally for environmental ad claims.

California Gov. Pete Wilson is expected soon to sign a law that will place the state under green advertising regulations developed by the Federal Trade Commission in 1992.

In setting aside state regulations, California will be the final state to accept the national standard.

"California was the last holdout," said Clark Rector, VP-state government affairs at the American Advertising Federation. "Assuming [Gov. Wilson] signs the bill, then we think it will be a very happy situation for advertisers, and for consumers, quite frankly."

California passed a stringent law in 1990 defining words like "recyclable" and "biodegradable," becoming one of a handful of states to regulate green ad claims when environmental marketing took off early in this decade. The FTC then set national standards, and state regulations gradually were rescinded.

The California legislature this summer was the last to take action, and the Republican governor is expected to sign the bill.

The AAF, Association of National Advertisers and American Association of Advertising Agencies have been battling California's 1990 law in the courts, claiming the law violated First Amendment rights.

Just last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the ad groups' challenge.

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