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Brandalism calls out agencies as it takes over billboards to criticize airline ads


By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

September 23, 2022 | 4 min read

The artist-activist collective name-checks creative shops working with airlines in a bid to highlight the aviation industry’s contribution to climate change.


The Brandalism campaign calls out agencies for working with airline companies / Brandalism

Brandalism is calling out agencies including VCCP, Ogilvy, Dentsu and DBB München for working with airline companies as it campaigns for a tobacco-style advertising ban on the industry.

The activist collective has created posters spoofing ads from airlines KLM, British Airways (which moved its account from Ogilvy to Uncommon last year), Ryanair and easyJet in the hopes of curbing demand for flights and preventing emissions from rising further.


The project is the brainchild of artists including Michelle Tylicki and Darren Cullen, with one billboard reading: “We’re turning Business Class green with the world’s first on-board golf course,” and another depicting an airplane flying over wildfires with the text: “Fly Responsibly?”

Tona Merriman from Brandalism said: “The allure and glamour of high carbon lifestyles such as frequent flying has been purposefully crafted by the advertising industry and shows no signs of relenting – despite one of the hottest summers on record. Advertising agencies such as Ogilvy, VCCP, Dentsu and DDB Munchen need to consider their role in driving up emissions for airlines they work for such as British Airways, easyJet, KLM and Lufthansa. We call on employees in those firms to refuse work for high-carbon clients.”


Campaigners from the groups Adfree Cities and Badvertising are calling for legislation on advertising high-carbon products. Polling by Opinium research in April of this year found that 68% of adults in the UK support restrictions on ads for environmentally-damaging products.


Robbie Gillett from Adfree Cities added: “Advertising for airlines and airports is driving up demand for flights and trashing the climate. We urgently need to see the creation of viable, sustainable transport alternatives to flying that ensures job security for workers currently employed in aviation. In the meantime, a simple step that government, both local and national, can take is to prohibit advertising for polluting products – for the benefit of people’s health, air quality and the climate.”

At the time of writing, none of the advertising agencies The Drum has contacted about this campaign had responded.

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