Billboards ‘hacked’ across Europe to protest against airlines and fossil fuel adverts


Environmental activists have hijacked billboards across Europe to protest air travel advertising.

Ads promoting services and products using fossil fuels should be banned in the same way as those for tobacco products, protesters say.

As part of their direct action, activists ‘hacked’ billboards in London, Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield, Brighton as well as Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​Brussels, Lisbon, Rome and five other European cities.

They stuck subversive advertisements on conventional billboards in public spaces such as on main roads and at bus stops.

Street artist Hogre spoofed Ryanair by creating an advert for ‘Ruinair’ featuring saluting flight attendants wearing gas masks as they stood in front of a pile of plastic waste. The words say, “Low rates for plastic island.

“Global trash prices from €6.66”.

Cartoons have also been created by Street Market artists Subvertiser, Soofiya, Lindsay Grime and Matt Bonner to highlight airlines’ use of ‘greenwashing’ – the act of pretending to be environmentally friendly while the reality is the opposite.

In his works, Darren Cullen pokes fun at greenwashing and business class theft. His satirical artwork, on a huge billboard in London, reads: “We’re making Business Class green with the world’s first in-car golf course.”

“British Airways” commercial by Darren Cullen of Spelling Mistakes Costs Lives


The announcement continues: “In the midst of a climate emergency, we understand concerns that flying business class emits three times the carbon emissions per flight than standard class…

“That’s why our new Business Class onboard golf course comes with a free biodegradable golf ball, so even our most carbon-hungry passengers can feel like they’re doing their part for the environment. “

Another artist, Michelle Tylicki, depicts a plane flying over forest fires, with the words “Fly Responsibly” for her advertisement which satirizes KLM airline.

It comes after swaths of land around the world – particularly in Europe – burned over the summer as temperatures hit record highs in many countries.

Michelle Tylicki’s ‘KLM’ ad shows plane flying over raging forest fires


The announcement also states that the Dutch airline is “currently being prosecuted for greenwashing”.

In July, Dutch activists Fossielvrij NL, backed by environmental law charity ClientEarth and Reclame Fossielvrij, filed a complaint in Amsterdam alleging KLM misled the public about the sustainability of its flights.

KLM said in a statement to Reuters: “It would certainly not be in our interest to misinform our customers. It is our responsibility to make future trips as sustainable as possible.

“We believe that our communications comply with applicable laws and regulations.”

Also mobilizing against greenwashing, artist Roelof Bos has created a fake joint advert for EasyJet and Bristol Airport with the words: ‘Fix our carbon footprint with sparkling green emissions! »

Bus stop advert spoofing EasyJet and Bristol Airport


Advertisement at a bus stop in Bristol features Tinkerbell, from Disney’s Peter Panand an EasyJet plane emitting glowing fluorescent green smoke.

Activists have called on companies that own outdoor billboards to ‘reflect on their role in increasing emissions’.

Tona Merriman of Brandalism said: “The allure and glamor of high-carbon lifestyles such as frequent flying have been deliberately engineered by the advertising industry and show no signs of letting up – despite one of the hottest summers on record.

“Advertising agencies such as Ogilvy, VCCP, Dentsu, DDB Munchen need to consider their role in driving up emissions for the airlines they work for such as British Airways, Easyjet, KLM and Lufthansa.

“We are calling on employees of these companies to refuse work from high-carbon clients.”

The protest comes after a number of cities officially banned ads for products and services using fossil fuels.

Sydney recently banned such advertisements in public places following similar actions by the Dutch cities of Amsterdam and Haarlem.

Robbie Gillett of Adfree Cities said: “Airline and airport advertising is driving up demand for flights and destroying the climate.

“We urgently need to see the creation of viable and sustainable transport alternatives to flying that guarantee job security for workers currently employed in aviation.

“In the meantime, one simple step that government, both local and national, can take is to ban advertising of polluting products – to the benefit of people’s health, air quality and the climate. “


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