Amsterdam’s creative industry declares a climate emergency

Marketers in Amsterdam rally together to find ways to raise awareness of the climate change crisis.

Amsterdam’s first Creatives for Climate Summit has brought 140 key stakeholders together from within the Dutch advertising and marketing industry to drive action around the climate emergency.

Held at Patagonia's headquarters with climate activist group Extinction Rebellion, the event took place on September 18th with the hope of setting an agenda for combatting the climate crisis and helping to raise awareness of it.

At the summit, led by The Humblebrag agency, there were talks from Extinction Rebellion; Alex Weller, European marketing director of Patagonia; Mark Aink of Native Circles and Lucy von Sturmer of The Humblebrag to explain why it's so important to act now.

Following the event, more than 20 agencies - including HALAL, The Brave New Now, HarrimanSteel, Eyeforce, Revolver, Iris, Nomads and more - signed a collective declaration of emergency, which was also approved by the Art Directors Club Netherlands (ADCN).

A pop-up "Extinction Agency" has also been established to band creatives and agencies together so that they can work on briefs set by XR. Already, a free open-access database of inspiring images, banners and posters has been created - acting as a free resource for anyone to use at the Climate March today (Friday Sept 27) in The Hague. This Creatives for Climate platform encourages participating agencies to sign onto existing initiatives, such as The Creative Climate Disclosure and Create and Strike.

The aim of the summit was to unite messaging and create a collective unified voice. This collective have made it their commitment to communicate awareness of the climate change emergency.

Lucy von Sturmer, founder of The Humblebrag and co-initiator of Creatives for Climate, said: “As creatives we are powerful; we have the ability to inspire action and change behaviour. Extinction Rebellion have made a direct call to this industry to use our power, platform and creativity to tell the truth about the emergency. This summit is about hearing from Extinction Rebellion directly, engaging with leading voices in the industry and hearing from you - the creative community - to collectively commit to action.”

Fellow co-initiator Jessica Hartley said: “This isn’t about naming and shaming. None of us are ‘clean’. It’s about realising we have a powerful voice, and that we need to use our craft for the right reasons. It’s about saying no and that’s not something we’re used to in this business. What happens when we say NO to a brief? What happens when we refuse to work on certain brands? What happens when we don’t turn up to work during the climate strike on Friday the 27th? Only then will these conversations go upstream to the decision-makers who can make a difference on a board level. That’s what we hope for.”

The main call to action of the Summit was to self-organize and act - not to wait for other groups to take the lead.

A report of the evening has since been compiled as well as video of the Creatives for Climate film of the summit (below).

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.