Should advertising of high-carbon products be banned?

The below snippet is from Campaign Asia's article 'Should advertising of high-carbon products be banned?'

SOUNDING BOARD: Controls on advertising harmful products like tobacco and junk food have existed for years. With the climate emergency worsening by the day, is it high time to implement tighter rules on advertising high-carbon products like SUVs and long-haul flights, or even ban them altogether?

Joanne Painter

Managing Director, Icon Agency

There’s a simple answer to opponents of the move to ban high carbon ads: read the tea leaves. Take Australia for example. Australians want action on climate change. Banning advertising of high-carbon products is a simple and tangible step for many. Three quarters of Australians are concerned about climate change; 82% support the phasing-out of coal fired power stations (The Australia Institute, 2021). Moreover, a 2022 ad industry survey found 41% of consumers agree with introducing a ban on advertisements promoting fossil fuels on television. Controls on the advertising of harmful products have been around for 50 years. Australia moved to restrict cigarette advertising back in 1973. So, there is both legislative precedence and consumer appetite for change. With governments around the world and Australia already moving to restrict high-carbon advertising or ban it altogether, the message to opponents of regulation is clear. Adapt and evolve your business model or risk becoming a fossil yourselves.

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