The Conscious Advertising Network has teamed up with a range of agencies and organisations, including Friends of the Earth, Havas Media Group, SSE, Ipsos, Virgin Media O2 and Purpose Disruptors, to launch a Climate and Sustainability manifesto that commits them to abiding by its tenets.
The manifesto outlines the steps organisations can take, the tools they can use and groups they can consult. It also asks its signatories to consider carefully the content they are funding and ensure it does not inadvertently fuel disinformation.
Launching today (18 May), this latest manifesto adds to CAN’s existing six – spanning hate speech, dis/misinformation, D&I, children’s wellbeing, informed consent and ad fraud – and seeks to foster ethically conscious advertising behaviour.
The manifesto was written by the group of climate and industry professionals to ensure sustainability is at the heart of business practice.
One key aspect of bringing about positive change is tackling climate change misinformation, which obfuscates and stymies progress, CAN said.
Commenting on its role in developing the manifesto, energy company SSE said it was proud, adding it was “critical” that “brands and advertisers take responsibility to support this incredibly important issue and ultimately help accelerate the journey to Net Zero”.
CAN believes that advertisers and agencies should be instrumental in driving change, from the briefing process, through to ad production and in the resulting content.
“The new manifesto embodies the belief that the content people consume and the processes by which they are created, should be sustainable and responsibly considered, avoiding either creating or funding climate misinformation and disinformation,” CAN said.
CAN added that it was imperative that climate and sustainability practices are “incorporated in the media in order to reach our goals under the Paris Climate Agreement and the advertising industry plays a major role in ensuring progress”.
CAN co-founders Jake Dubbins and Harriet Kingaby, said in a joint statement: “Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation and it’s important that advertisers are doing everything they can to ensure we meet our goals under the Paris Climate Agreement and keep warming to under 1.5 degrees. That means considering the impact of everything we do and make, including what our media spend funds and the norms that we project on screen.
“Advertising can have a huge role to play in changing hearts and minds about climate, defunding the disinformation economy, and decarbonising our operations, but we must act now.”
Last year, CAN led an open letter, gaining more than 250 signatures, addressed to the chief executives of Facebook, Instagram, Google, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and Reddit, calling for more action to combat climate change misinformation.