Worldwide initiatives to ban fossil fuel advertisements
The louder the call for climate policy, the more fossil fuel industry advertises.
Their advertisements keep us invested in a fossil fuel world. They’re meant to prevent regulation to their industry. That’s why people have recently started fighting fossil fuel ads. All over the world. We keep this page updated.
Do you know of an initiative that’s missing? Please let us know!
Laws that ban fossil fuel ads
FR – French parliament has adopted a law that bans ads for fossil fuel energy, like petrol and diesel. The ad ban is expected to be enforced in the summer of 2022. In 2028 an ad ban for the most polluting cars will follow.
This is a shadow of the original proposal by the citizen’s assembly for law that banned advertising for fossil fueled cars, air travel and fossil fuel industry.
Campaigns for a law that bans fossil fuel ads
Canada – Campaign for a tobacco style law that bans ads for big oil, air travel and cars with fossil fuel engines. And they ask to re-direct fossil fuel money used for marketing into an unbranded fund that helps the transition.
Parliamentary initiatives for a law that bans fossil fuel ads
City council initiatives on a ban on fossil fuel ads
NL – City of Amsterdam. On december 17th the majority of the city council in Amsterdam has decided it wants a ban on all fossil fuel ads and fossil fuel (kids) festivals in public space. On May 3rd Amsterdam took the first step and banned ads for cheap tickets and polluting cars from the subwaystations.
NL – City of The Hague. Motion by many parties (a.o. Partij voor de Dieren, GroenLinks, D66, SP) which calls upon upon the MRDH (Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague: partnership between 23 municipalities) to ban fossil ads from bus and tram shelters. MRDH refuses.
NL – City of Leiden. Motion by Partij voor de Dieren (Party for the Animals), GroenLinks (GreenLeft) and SP (Socialist Party) passed to talk to operators of advertising space in bus shelters to ban fossil ads.
NL – City of Enschede. Motion by GroenLinks (GreenLeft) passed that instructs the alderman to examine how advertising and marketing events for fossil products and services can be banned in the public space, with priority for the fossil fuel industry, air travel and polluting cars.
NL – City of Haarlem. Motion by GroenLinks (GreenLeft) passed which asks alderman to talk to operators of advertising space in public space to ban ads for fossil fuel products, air travel, cars on fossil fuels and meat from factory farming.
Media that ban fossil fuel ads
Calls for media to drop fossil fuel ads
BE – Politico should drop its branded content for Shell
NL – Chief editor of Trouw wants his newspaper to ban ads from the fossil fuel industry and for air travel. He writes this in an editorial in which he reflects on the talk he and his publisher had with Reclame Fossielvrij. The publisher has promised to discuss it with the board of DPG Media.
Agencies that refuse to make fossil fuel ads
Public Transport that bans fossil fuel ads
(Court) cases against fossil fuel ads
USA – A House subcommittee is demanding that executives of
Exxon Mobil Corp., Shell, Chevron and other major oil and gas companies
testify before Congress about the industry’s decades-long effort to wage
disinformation campaigns around climate change.
USA – The state of Massachusetts sued Exxon for deceptive advertising to Massachusetts consumers and for misleading Massachusetts investors about the risks to Exxon’s business posed by fossil fuel-driven climate change—including
systemic financial risk.
NGO reports on how advertising harms climate action
Scientific research about advertising and climate change
All fossil fuel ads are misleading, because they serve to normalise an extremely harmful product and industry. That’s why a total ban, like the ban on tobacco is the best regulatory solution. (Kaupa, Journal for European Consumer and Market Law, February 2021)
Rhetoric and frame analysis of ExxonMobil’s climate change communications
Computational assessment of how ExxonMobil has used language to subtly yet systematically frame public discourse about climate change. The study shows that ExxonMobil uses rhetoric mimicking the tobacco industry to downplay the reality and seriousness of climate change, to present fossil fuel dominance as reasonable and inevitable, and to shift responsibility for climate change away from itself and onto consumers. (Supran, Oreskes, May 2021)
‘The role of public relations firms in climate change politics’: this paper provides an exploratory overview of the extent and nature of involvement of PR firms in climate political action by organizations in five sectors: Coal/Steel/Rail, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Renewable Energy, and the Environmental Movement. The analysis shows that the engagement of public relations firms by organizations in all of these sectors is widespread.
(Brulle, Werthman, published in Climatic Change, November 2021, pdf of entire paper)
Research reveals the power inequities surrounding climate discourse by suggesting that wealthy industry trade groups employ a discursive practice of distraction and appropriation of U.S cultural values and mores, essentially shifting public dialogue from climate change and potential environmental policies to how these policies would hurt the industries and adversely affect the average U.S. citizen. (B. Miller Gaither & T. Kenn Gaither, July 2016)
ExxonMobil’s use of a didactic, greenwashed frame stifles criticism and discourages examination of ideologies of consumption by exploiting the ethos of the scientist and highlighting technological solutions to problems that are deeply tied to a culture of consumerism. The definition of green energy is controlled by those with the power to generate persuasive public messages about the sources and production of energy. (Plec & Pettenger, April 2012)