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These Striking Nature Ads Call Out Mercedes-Benz for 'Greenwashing’

A campaign from Mercedes-Benz, which juxtaposed the automaker’s logo with images of nature to promote its electric car range, has been hijacked by sustainability brand WhereFrom—following accusations of “Greenwashing” by the auto brand.

The original posters from the car marque showed its symbol emblazoned across close up shots highlighting the beauty of nature: from the veins of leaves to bees buzzing around honeycomb, to a pink rose. They were published months after Mercedes’ parent firm Daimler was issued with a lawsuit over claims it has failed to do more to keep climate change in check.

The work initially ran in Mexico to mark Earth Day, with a Spanish tagline that translated in English to “Our future has always been here.” However, last week a new iteration was shared by social media users and on ad industry publications, credited to Leo Burnett Colombia, with the English caption: “’Nature or Nothing’ the New Electric Vehicle generations it’s already here,” signed off Mercedes AG.

Now Wherefrom-a review platform that allows consumers to score products based on their environmental impact-has issued its own creative rebuttal to the work, inverting the posters to show what it said was a “more realistic” representation of Mercedes’ contribution to climate change.

Instead of the beauty of nature, Wherefrom’s “Nothing or Nature” uses images of drought, flood, wildfires and more. The new sub copy reads: “Climate change. It’s already here.”

The rethink was devised by London-based agency 10 Days, with strategy director and co-founder George White explained: “This is Greenwashing 101-equating Mercedes to the beauty of nature and leading consumers to believe Mercedes is a green company, which-alas-is not the case.

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