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Advertisers Behind Wave of Green Media & Entertainment

Beginning in the fall, programs on the CW network will include story lines that promote environmental themes. The network’s calling the endeavor “free 2 B green,” Statesman.com reports. Some of the CW’s hottest stars will tout energy-saving tips in public service announcements.

The CW says it wants to champion a cause that’s important to 18- to 34-year-olds, an age group particularly concerned about global warming. It happens to also be an age group particularly interesting to advertisers.

“This is being driven both by consumer interest, people who want to live their lives in more environmentally friendly ways, and by advertisers,” said David Zaslav, chief executive of Discovery. “We’ve gotten enormous encouragement from advertisers, not only to take a big swing but to let them join us as partners.” Zaslav says that many companies have separate green budgets in addition to their advertising budgets

Discovery is spending $50 million to produce original shows with Earth-friendly themes.

Bank of America, which announced a $20 billion green initiative last month, says it’s “exceptionally pleased by the customer feedback” it’s getting.

Competitor Citi Smith Barney, along with Lexus,  sponsors “Robert Redford Presents: The Green,” a show on the Sundance cable channel.

Ford’s hybrid sport-utility vehicle the Ford Escape even has its own green pitchman: Kermit the Frog.

But it’s not just TV and Hollywood. Established media outlets are also trying to catch the wave. The Washington Post, National Geographic and others are increasing their offerings of green content, hoping to attract readers and advertising revenues from manufacturers and retailers, The New York Times reports (via Sustainable Life Media).

Yesterday, for instance, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, the online arm of The Washington Post Company, introduced Sprig.com, a new Web site aimed at environmentally conscious women.

And on Monday, National Geographic will roll out Green.NationalGeographic.com. That site will include more than 2,000 pages of environmental news, how-to videos and tips on eco-friendly travel and activities.

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