5 Times Activists Roasted Adland’s Fossil Fuel Addiction


This year was officially the hottest ever recorded, thanks to humans’ industrial-era obsession with burning fossil fuels. And despite a weak, loophole-riddled agreement to transition away from those climate-warming fuels at the United Nations’ recent climate summit, the world is on track to see much more warming in the years to come.

Meanwhile, despite a long history of mis- and disinformation from the oil and gas industry and a recent rollback of climate commitments, hundreds of agencies—including all of the largest ad agency holding companies—continue to work with fossil fuel brands to improve brand image, promote oil and gas products and push back against the narratives of climate activists around the world.

Still, activists have broken through the noise on many occasions to highlight the hypocrisy of advertising and public relations agencies’ relationships with fossil fuel companies. Using viral campaigns, cutting humor and well-positioned stunts, here are five times climate activists roasted the ad industry for its work with fossil fuel brands:

1.) Atmospheric Agency satirically defends business as usual—and McCann

Activists from Glimpse, the activist agency behind Atmospheric, dropped off cupcakes at McCann’s London office.Glimpse

With a splashy introduction on LinkedIn, complete with a fake CEO and company website, the Atmospheric Agency has been trolling adland since shortly after DeSmog reported that Aramco had put its ad accounts up for review and that McCann was pitching to defend the business.

Glimpse, one of the climate-focused agencies behind the stunt, stopped by the McCann office in London with cupcakes to wish the agency luck with its pitch.

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