In de media

The potential of a worldwide fossil fuel ad ban

“We don’t have time for nudging every consumer to make the right choice. We can’t expect children and adults to be aware of misleading ads all the time,” said Femke Sleegers (Reclame Fossielvrij) in an interview with Amy Westervelt for the podcast Drilled. “So we must open the conversation to strict legal regulations.”

In the Drilled Episode, Amy and Femke talk about the campaign for a ban on advertising, marketing and sponsoring by the fossil fuel industry and the potential to do the same in other countries.

Below you can find a few excerpts from the interview

Tobacco-style ban on fossil fuel ads

“We campaign for a tobacco-style ban of fossil fuel advertisements and this ban would prevent greenwashing, branding, sponsoring and basically forbids fossil fuel companies to use their logo on any other place than their direct selling-points” “and at these gas stations we want a warning like on a pack of cigarettes so people can make an informed choice”

Shell lies to kids

“2050 is the year that we all should be at zero emissions according to the Paris agreement but in the puzzle that Shell made children do it said that in 2050 there still would be 70% coal, oil and gas in the energy mix. I asked an employee at the festival: “Why are you telling this to children? Shell says it is aligned to Paris and at the festival you teach kids that in 2050 there is still 70% coal, oil and gas in the energy mix?” And he said: “Well, we have to be realistic and we don’t want to lie to children.” “Shell is really influencing kids to think in a way and to keep oil and gas normal for decades to come”

Chasing each ad

“We thought, we are chasing each advertisement by Shell, but this is really systemic and we don’t have the money to run after every lie that they tell. We thought, how did they do it at the tobacco industry? They also went to schools and told lies to kids like Shell does and Exxon and all the others. We need a tobacco law for the fossil fuel industry.”

Newspaper

“The most elite newspaper in Holland, like the New York Times, is running branded content for Shell – a lot- and that is something we are going to address.”

Advertising for a policy position

“Fossil fuel companies are never advertising a product, they’re always just advertising a certain policy position or trying to make people think a certain way about their brands”

Counter activism

“He [Robert Blood, who worked for both fossil fuel industry and tobacco industry] suggested that the best way to counter activism is showing understanding and using fair words and taking very small actions.”

Time is running out

“We don’t have time for nudging every consumer to make the right choice. We can’t expect children and adults to be aware of misleading ads all the time” “so we must open the conversation to strict legal regulations.”

International potential

“We already ran a test with the law that bans tobacco advertising and it is really easy to convert to the fossil fuel industry. So, it also a concept that many countries can adopt.”

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