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January 09, 2006

$65 billion fund for green design

Is advertising a source of harmful emissions? Industry forecasts anticipate that advertising spending will break through the $400 billion mark this year. That's $555 per person in the USA, (compared to $209 per head in France, $25 in Latin America and $8 in China). Those billions have just one purpose: to stimulate consumption - most of which will be environmentally damaging. I doubt that even one percent of this year's global ad spend will be used to create demand for environmentally positive goods, services or behaviour. One response would be to curb environmentally harmful marketing, much as we are trying to reduce carbon emissions. But curbs and limits are an unimaginative solution. Far better would be for adland and its clients to divert just ten percent of their budget - $10 per person, worldwide - to the redesign of products and services to make them sustainable.

Posted by John Thackara at January 9, 2006 08:31 AM


You've touched on something that largely goes unnoticed. Just like the fact that for example, manufacturing computers ou cars generate a huge amount of pollution and toxic waste. But no one pays attention.
So, I am glad you brought my attention to the destructive side of advertising.
Your suggestion is worth thinking about. Let's hope that the admen will give it at least 1 minute's thought...

Posted by: Bruno at January 13, 2006 10:36 PM

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