updated 11:00 am EDT, Mon June 22, 2009
Apple vs. Dell ruling
Apple has been both vindicated and condemned in an advertising dispute with Dell, reports say. The latter company earlier filed a complaint with the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, accusing Apple of potentially misleading the public by claiming its unibody MacBooks are the "greenest" notebooks on the market. Dell has asserted that its notebooks also meet high environmental standards, for instance by scaling down mercury, PVC and brominated flame retardant content.
The NAD has now sided with Dell to a degree, recommending that Apple should cease using the greenest claim to "avoid overstatement." In comparing notebooks using the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) standard, the group observes that there are in fact better-rated brands, including Toshiba's Portege line. Apple has however been commended for maintaining consistently high EPEAT ratings across all of its notebooks, something not achieved by any other manufacturer.
Although Dell has yet to comment, an Apple spokeswoman has called the ruling a "clear victory" for the company's marketing efforts. "The case challenged our claim to the 'world's greenest family of notebooks,' and NAD has confirmed that MacBooks are in fact the world's greenest notebook computers when compared to other manufacturers' product lines as a whole," the spokeswoman claims. The company has frequently ranked higher than Dell in Greenpeace environmental rankings.