Tag Archives: advertisements

Too many adverts undermining the climate

It is almost exactly 17 years – though it seems longer – since tobacco advertising and marketing was banned in the UK. It is equally easy to forget that a reluctant Blair government was forced, finally, to act by a private members bill in the Lords by our then health spokesperson Tim Clement-Jones.

It was not right to let the tobacco companies outspend any government health messaging about the dangers of smoking – leading so many young people to an earlier grave.

So what are we to make of advertising now that undermines our expensive efforts to save the climate? Perhaps by advertising SUV cars as if they were good for the environment, when they actually clog the roads and clog the lungs of vulnerable children – making covid worse too?

I believe this might be an opportunity for Lib Dem councillors and campaigners to extend their campaign against cigarette advertising – and clearing their neighbourhoods of unsightly billboards at the same time?

What powers to local authorities have? Well, they certainly have some:

  • Over advertising billboards and screens located on council-owned land.
  • Over planning consent for advertising infrastructure – like the energy-guzzling digital billboards – and some advertising content.
  • Via passenger transport executives (such as Transport for London, Transport for Greater Manchester, Merseytravel, etc) which have control of advertising policies, and which are accountable to local democratic bodies such as Mayor’s offices.

About 1,500 local authorities in 29 countries have now declared a climate emergency. These declarations, taking place at every level of government, are leading to the development of local, regional and national climate emergency action plans.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments
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