There have been more than 230 people signing the petition to ban harmful ads, thank you so much!
As you might remember, before the local elections of the 6th May 2021, we contacted most of the candidates regarding the issues of advertisement that promotes harmful products such as junk food, alcohol, gambling or high-carbon products. We received a few very positive responses and now that the elections have passed and that some of those candidates got elected, we have contacted them suggesting some policies that could be implemented in Leeds. You can read some examples in this document by Adfree Cities.
The timing could not be any better. Last week, the Norwich council passed a motion to limit harmful advertisement (you can read the full motion here), pretty similar to what we are suggesting in Leeds. In the motion, the council resolved to
Ask cabinet to work with partners, to phase out all forms of advertising […] that are potentially harmful to our communities, to which we as a city council can influence, such as gambling, alcohol, junk food and environmentally damaging products.
This comes a few months after Liverpool passed a similar motion, mostly oriented towards ads for high-carbon products. What is special about the motion passed it Liverpool is that it recognises the negative role that such ads play when it comes to reaching their carbon reduction targets, stating that
… petrol and diesel car adverts, especially for Sports Utility Vehicles, undermine air quality objectives and airline advertising undermines carbon emission targets.
More and more policy makers are starting to realise that ads have a detrimental impact on our wellbeing and that allowing ads for high-carbon products in a climate emergency is totally inconsistent. You can keep the momentum by writing to your local councillor: have a look at suggestions for what to write in this post by Adfree Cities.
The tide is turning, let’s keep pushing!