Hi! We need to talk about the role of advertising in fuelling the climate crisis through generating insatiable demand for carbon intensive goods and services. Meet @_wearepossible’s new campaign with @NewWeatherInst: #Badvertising 👉 1/n https://twitter.com/badvertising11/status/1290262996002828288
In 2016, UK new car CO2 emissions stopped falling, and began to increase instead. Average emissions of a new car sold in UK rose again by 2.7% in 2019. Growing sales of SUVs are primarily to blame (not diesel to petrol switch!) https://www.badverts.org/s/Upselling-Smoke-FINAL-23-07-20.pdf 3/
*No, it’s not just SUVs. This new Audi, technically an ‘estate’ car but described by Jeremy Clarkson as a ‘fighter jet for pet lovers’, emits around 210gCO2/km - well over twice the EU target average for new car CO2 in 2020 of 95gCO2/km 4/ https://twitter.com/audiofficial/status/1289848460368257033
BUT yes, it is mostly SUVs. All of the top ten most polluting cars by UK sales volume are SUVs, and they dominate the top 30 list too. 5/
It should be no surprise then that big car brands are weighting their ad spend more & more heavily to their more profitable product lines. Ford CEO Jim Hackett: “We’re going to feed the healthy part of our business and deal decisively with the parts that destroy value.” 7/
Let’s look at industry responses to today’s call for a moment. I quite like Steve Gooding of RAC Foundation. But he’s clearly not got his head around how this all works, like, at all. Wherefore ‘the prestige brand’ Steve? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53607147 9/
Yes, Mike. Yes they are. How did they get so popular though, that’s the mystery 🤔🔍 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53607147 10/
Tbh Mike it’s more that we looked at all of the dirtiest cars for sale in the UK, and found that most of them are SUVs (see tweet 5 in thread). So ‘SUV’ is a very serviceable shorthand for ‘large, carbon intensive private vehicle’ 11/
There seems to be a bit of a misunderstanding here about what we are getting at Mike. Perhaps this chart from, er, the SMMT might help?
For avoidance of doubt, the problem is more & more people buying bigger, heavier, more fuel hungry cars called SUVs https://www.smmt.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/SMMT-Motor-Industry-Facts-JUNE-2020-FINAL.pdf 12/
The parallels between smoking/cancer & SUVs/climate change are striking. My excellent @NewWeatherInst colleague @davidboyle1958 has taken a v readable deep dive into the lessons for today’s climate struggle of the battle to curb tobacco ads, here 👉 https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5ebd0080238e863d04911b51/t/5f1fe08099156872c6ca1e59/1595924618033/Smoking+Out+The+Climate+FINAL.pdf 13/
My takeaways from this investigation:

1) where millions of voters are dependent on a harmful product, banning sales outright can be politically untenable, while banning *ads* for the harmful product simply contains the size of the dependent cohort without removing access 14/
2) it doesn’t matter that we can’t prove conclusively that tobacco (SUV) ads create new smokers (SUV owners) rather than simply persuading existing smokers (SUV owners) to switch brands. It’s manifestly true and the industry will try to weaponise doubt to delay regulation 15/
3) voluntary agreements with industry don’t work. They’re nothing more than a delaying tactic to defer effective regulation
4) banning ads for harmful products works! NHS statistics show that in 2003, prior to the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act coming into force, 15% of 11-15 year olds in England were regular smokers. By 2018, this level had fallen to just 5% 17/
5) we need to act now - big tobacco managed to stall regulation for 40 years after the link between cancer and smoking was proven. The climate crisis is upon us. We don’t have 40 years to procrastinate over this 18/
6) the official recognition that public health policy goals could not be met whilst swimming against a multi-billion dollar tide of tobacco industry ad spend was a landmark moment in the fight against smoking-related diseases in the UK 19/
7) With the dawning realisation across government and society of the very serious threats to human welfare represented by the climate crisis, it is past time to act on this understanding in the same way we did with tobacco - only on a much shorter timescale
THEREFORE we propose an immediate end to advertising in all online, print, broadcast and out-of-home media of the ‘dirtiest third’ of new cars sold in the UK, as well as any cars which are too large to fit in a standard parking space - 150,000 of which hit UK streets in 2019. 21/
This would disallow advertising new cars with average emissions exceeding 160gCO​2/km or with an overall length exceeding 4.8m - equivalent to about a third of all new cars sold in UK last year. 22/
We also propose that government should develop a strategy for a complete phaseout of all advertising for fossil fuelled private vehicles over the coming years - esp since we are due to stop selling them altogether by 2035 at the latest! 23/
PS for my climate twitter nerds, here is the full text of the letter we will be sending to ministers setting out our proposals https://www.badverts.org/petition-text 
PPS big shout out to my main numbers brain @thatsamoray for crunching this one - thanks bro! 🤓🧠✨🙏
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