New study released to coincide with Black Friday concludes that efforts to tackle the climate crisis would be strengthened by major reforms to the advertising industry
Pressure on the advertising industry to reassess its engagement with polluting and environmentally damaging clients ratcheted up another gear this week, with the publication of a new report exploring how the sector is exacerbating the climate crisis.
The new report from think tank the New Weather Institute and environmental charity We are Possible forms part of the ‘Badvertising’ campaign, which is calling for new measures to curb the promotion of carbon intensive products and services. It follows the launch of a major new US campaign, dubbed Clean Creatives, which is modelled on the divestment movement and is calling on advertising and PR firms to sever ties with clients that are failing to advance the net zero transition.
Released to coincide with the annual wave of ‘Black Friday’ promotions, the report is titled Advertising’s role in climate and ecological degradation and explores a raft of academic studies assessing how advertising can exacerbate environmental impacts.
Through an extensive assessment of recent research it analyses how advertising fuels “materialistic values and goals” and accelerates a “consumption-driving work and spend cycle” that amplifies demand for environmentally damaging products.
The report identified several studies that explored how advertising can trigger more materialistic impulses in consumers that in turn fuel “negative ecological attitudes and unsustainable behaviours”.
It also cites research that suggests advertising contributes to a working culture that prioritises longer working hours and consumption over non-work