Global warming is down to you says £6m Government ad campaign

LONDON - The government is to launch a controversial £6m ad campaign aimed at global warming sceptics, in which a British town is shown submerged under water.

The campaign, created by AMV BBDO, will launch during Coronation Street on ITV1 this evening.

It was prompted by government research that revealed more than half the population think that climate change will have no effect on them.

The launch of the activity marks the first time that a government advertising campaign conveys the message in a factual way that the human race is causing global warming and endangering life on Earth.

Given global warming is not accepted as scientific fact by a large and usually silent part of the scientific community fearful of a backlash, the campaign could provoke anger that the government is broadcasting political messages with taxpayer's money.

A government spokeswoman defended the government's decision to launch the campaign: "The overwhelming body of scientific evidence tells us that climate change is a serious threat to the UK. It is a far-sighted and responsible government that informs the public of this."

A spokeswoman for the Advertising Standards Authority also backed the campaign. She said: ""The ASA has received complaints in the past disputing whether climate change is man-made or not; the ASA has dismissed these complaints in line with the overwhelming evidence of the majority of scientists who have studied climate change."

The creative is hard-hitting, and as such could also become controversial due to its alarmist tone.

It is designed to make adults feel guilty about the legacy they will leave their children and features a father telling his daughter a bedtime story of "a very very strange" world with "horrible consequences" for today's children.

The ad then shows a British town deep under water, with people and animals drowning. Carbon dioxide is shown rising from cars, homes and everyday appliances in clouds of black soot, which then form a jagged-toothed monster.

The daughter asks her father if the story has a happy ending at which point a voiceover cuts in, intoning "It's up to us how the story ends" and directs viewers to the Government's Act on CO2 website.

Joan Ruddock, the Energy and Climate Change Minister, said: "The survey results show that people don't realise that climate change is already under way and could have severe consequences.

"With over 40 per cent of the UK's C02 emissions a result of personal choices, there is huge potential for individual behaviour change to lower emissions."