Comment about Waste Management not meant to be disparaging

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Dear Editor:

If there is one truth that we hold dear in the world of advertising and communications, it is that perception is reality – and as the president of a large advertising and communications firm in Colorado Springs, one of my jobs is to help shape perception on behalf of our clients.

However, as a consumer, I am often subject to my own perceptions being influenced by the very industry in which I toil.

In a recent article titled, “All that glitters isn’t green: Marketers becoming savvy at promoting sustainable sheen,” I was asked to comment on how companies are, or are not, perceived as “green” and what impact it might have on their brand.

While it was certainly not intentional, my quote in response to that question appeared to disparage a very well-respected Colorado company – Waste Management.

My intent was to point out that a company that deals with environmentally sensitive issues such as waste management may find it challenging to position themselves as “green.” To change the perception of what they do and how they do it.

However, when I read that article it came across that I was condemning them for simply not having a “green” initiative at all or platform to stand on – and that could not be further from the truth.

Waste Management has been an exemplary steward of the environment and puts a tremendous amount of time and resources toward programs such as environmental protection, groundwater protection, environmental engineering and recycling. The company has received numerous awards across several states for their focus on such issues as renewable energy, climate and wildlife habitats.

My apologies to Waste Management and their dedicated employees for any “misperceptions” my comments may have created. Please know that I appreciate all that you do as good partners for our environment and our communities.

Meredith Vaughan, President, Vladimir Jones