FEED Autumn 2022 Web

FEED: But is there a conflict between advertising and sustainability at a fundamental level?

JD: There is a phrase from Purpose Disruptors

Communications are massively important tools. The conflict of advertising is that our job is to sell more stuff. Purpose Disruptors did a report saying that advertising causes 20% more emissions per person in the UK, than if advertising didn’t exist. And that concept has been brought aboard the UNFCCC’s Race to Zero. Advertising talks a lot about purpose, but if it’s selling stuff that is additive to the problem, then we remain part of that problem. If we are working to drive down emissions across different market verticals, then it has a huge role to play.

(purposedisruptors.org), an advertising industry network tackling climate change, that we are ‘the architects of desire’. There is accountability coming into the industry. People are more interested in what goes on behind the brands. If you can genuinely move an entire market from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles or cycling, then advertising clearly has a role. If you can use advertising to change dietary habits, how we heat our homes, or don’t use energy… there’s huge value in that.

FEEDING THE MONSTER Big-name ads have found their way onto racist conspiracy websites


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