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Limits and possibilities of consumer information through product labelling

Products can/could tell us a lot – for example about the environment- or health-related effects of certain product features in production, use or disposal. Various instruments have been developed which provide information about products (and services) in order to make certain product features identifiable which are usually concealed from the consumer.

As a rule, product information serves the aim of protecting public welfare as well as socio-ethical, ecological or health goals. Instruments for providing product information are thus regarded as an exemplary means of communication along the chain of protagonists. Although product labelling already has a long tradition, there has been virtually no systematic research into its effectiveness.

What do we mean by the effectiveness of product labelling and how can this be operationalised? What influence do warning symbols have on user behaviour and when are they particularly effective? What incentive effect do environmental labels have on purchasing behaviour? And what target groups can be reached by them in particular? The task of the research project is to provide answers to these questions on the basis of a study of relevant literature.