Extinction Rebellion climate activists target ad industry

Campaign group writes open letter urging industry to act on climate destruction.

Extinction Rebellion: urging ad industry to act (credit: Extinction Rebellion/Adam Wiseman)
Extinction Rebellion: urging ad industry to act (credit: Extinction Rebellion/Adam Wiseman)

Campaign group Extinction Rebellion has sent an open letter to the advertising industry, drawing attention to why it believes the sector is contributing to current and future climate problems and how it can change this. 

The letter reads: "You can do anything you want and you can shift mass behavior in a heartbeat. One of the reasons we’ve got here is because you’ve been selling things to people that they don’t need.

"You are the manipulators and architects of that consumerist frenzy. Imagine what would happen if you devoted those skills to something better. No, making a small campaign to give up drinking from plastic straws is not going to cut it. Neither is doing some pro-bono for an anti-palm oil initiative."

Extinction Rebellion's letter urges the ad industry to declare a climate and ecological emergency and act accordingly.

It continues: "Persuade your clients and their audiences to do the same. If you don’t make this change, consumers will insist you do. Look at the streets of London in the last month. People are beginning to see where the problems lie, and soon they will see you."

The letter ends by telling the ad industry that it has "an extraordinary moment to be on the right side of history. That’s not something that can get postponed to Q3. It needs action right now."

The open letter in full

Dear Founders, CEOs, CCOs, CMOs, CFOs, MDs and CDs of the advertising industry,

You didn’t think we’d forget about you?

We know you like things simple so here they are:

We’re not on the verge of the Sixth Mass Extinction. We’re in it.

If everything on the planet dies, we die.

That’s not a distant future. We are only a few years away from an irreversible temperature climb, although biodiversity destruction may get us first.

"What can I do?" you’re thinking. "I’m just the Founder/CEO/CMO/CCO/CFO/MD/CD of a global advertising agency."

The answer is: you can do anything you want and you can shift mass behavior in a heartbeat. One of the reasons we’ve got here is because you’ve been selling things to people that they don’t need. You are the manipulators and architects of that consumerist frenzy. Imagine what would happen if you devoted those skills to something better.

No, making a small campaign to give up drinking from plastic straws is not going to cut it.
Neither is doing some pro-bono for an anti-palm oil initiative.

Here’s the thing you can do:

Declare a climate & ecological emergency and act accordingly. Persuade your clients and their audiences to do the same.

If you don’t make this change, consumers will insist you do. Look at the streets of London in the last month. People are beginning to see where the problems lie, and soon they will see you.

You have an extraordinary moment to be on the right side of history. That’s not something that can get postponed to Q3. It needs action right now.

Just Do It.

Be All That You Can Be.

Impossible Is Nothing.

We’re here to support you in this vital transition.

Contact us at earthsworthit@gmail.com.

Extinction Rebellion

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