The NZ ad industry wants to clean up its climate act – but will agencies drop their fossil fuel clients?

Wed, 18 Oct 2023 03:29:00 +1100

Andrew Pam <xanni [at]>

Andrew Pam

"At the launch of the Auckland Climate Festival last month, Green Party
Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick spoke about how building a community is the
best way to avoid being overwhelmed by the scale of the climate emergency.

Advertising might not have been the first thing on Swarbrick’s mind. But
earlier in August, New Zealand’s Commercial Communications Council had
announced its own community initiative to address emissions within the
advertising sector.

Labelled Ad Net Zero, it’s part of an international framework launched in the
UK late in 2020. “Our ambition,” it states, “is to reduce the carbon impact of
developing, producing and running advertising.”

To support the industry reducing its own emissions, Ad Net Zero is built around
a five-point “action plan”, the first four points of which are to reduce
emissions in different areas of the business.

But it’s the fifth point that will show whether the agencies that have signed
up really mean to change: “harness advertising’s power to support consumer
behaviour change”.

One would assume that includes moving consumers away from fossil fuel
consumption. However, right now, this seems unlikely. Every New Zealand agency
that represents a large fuel company has signed up to Ad Net Zero, and they are
still creating ads for their petrol station clients."

       *** Xanni ***
--               Andrew Pam                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu            Partner, Glass Wings               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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