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The faces behind greenwash advertising

Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

Every time you see an ad on TV trying to paint fossil fuels in a positive light, remember that it's not just the mining company spruiking their fine wares. There's a creative agency who helped them craft the whole thing - the strategy, framing the shots, casting relatable actors, the uplifting music, the beautiful story arc and the finely crafted words.

Clean Creatives is a movement of agency leaders in the advertising and PR industry. To join, you sign a pledge to refuse any future contracts with fossil fuel companies, trade associations, or front groups (we've taken the pledge).

The very strong argument is basically a supply-chain one: Clean Creatives state that "Sustainability is about your clients, not your company". In other words, you could be like Microsoft and pledge to offset all of your carbon emissions for the past 40-odd years - but signing just one fuel company as a client would reverse all of that effort. A single fossil fuel client is enough to put anyone's sustainability efforts back decades.

One thing CC also encourages companies to do, is be aware of the creative agencies they employ. If your agency does work for fossil fuel companies, CC encourages you to talk to them about it.

CC is calling out a pretty serious practice, but they're having fun with it. They recently held their F-List Awards, where they present actual trophies for categories like Most Impressive Cognitive Dissonance, Excellence in Science Fiction, The Public Disservice Award and the Lifetime Achievement in Shortening Lifetimes.

Have a laugh, then email your creative agency and ask if any fossil fuel companies are on their client list. If they are, point them to the Clean Creatives website...

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