Did advertising cause the climate Crisis? Yep, that’s what we debated at Advertising Week.
“With a clear conscience, ask yourself when was the last time you bought something you wanted but didn’t need?”
Sam Wagstaff at nature advisory and investment firm Pollination then went on to use a narrative from a children’s book about an overloaded boat with a range of animals from cows to sheep and donkeys to a mouse representing the fossil fuel industry, government, investors and ordinary people, respectively. The message was clear, all of the occupants were in some way responsible for the boat being overloaded and sinking.
Catherine Bowe from Meta hit back; “The onus is on us, the advertisers to confront the undeniable truth. Advertising has caused the climate crisis in our pursuit of profits and growth.”
Michele O’Neill, Director of Brand Nine said that advertising can lead the charge to a solution. “I ask for all of you today to take ultimate personal responsibility to think less about more and think more about enough.”
It was a lovely finale to an excellent debate concluded for the affirmative side by Dave Murphy and for the negative side David Halter. In the end, the team that rejected the motion that advertising caused the climate crisis won in a popular vote.
Thank you to our CEO referee Josh Faulks and the panelists Catherine Bowe, client council & industry trade lead, Meta; Georgia Leathart, head of strategy, Hearts & Science Australia; Josh Faulks, CEO, AANA; Sam Wagstaff, director, Pollination; Michelle O’Neill, director of brand, Nine; David Halter, chief strategy & growth officer, Dentsu.