Hello to Adblockers and the Adblock-curious. We’re Adblock Lewisham, birthed of the Adfree Cities Campaign.
There are many screwed-up things in the world. The climate crisis is the big one, which has many complex causes and will serve to exacerbate other crises, from mental health and housing to food security. Failing to recognise and address climate change will lead to the unravelling of reality as we know it as our institutions buckle, unable to support themselves when faced with mounting and overlapping climate disasters. Etc and so forth.
However, if your brain was transplanted with the warped brain of an advertiser, you could be forgiven for thinking that nothing is wrong at all. Our brains are rammed with misinformation. Meticulously crafted ad campaigns pay a lot of money to convince us that the world is frickin’ great. The climate is in good hands under the stewardship of the world’s largest polluters like BP and Shell. That cow turned McDonald’s burger spent a long and glorious life roaming in verdant pastures, before willingly electrocuting and decapitating itself in the interests of your taste buds. Nobody drained an entire village worth’s of water to produce a snazzy line of cheap jeans, and the garment factory workers producing the shoddy merchandise received bountiful riches for their hard work. The Amazon factory worker’s piss receptacle of choice is a plastic bottle even when they’re not on shift, so don’t worry about those guys either. Don’t stress. The advertisers have our back. Everything is fine. Everything is lovely everywhere.
The POINT is, advertising is our first obstacle to creating a better world. Advertisers have created a fog of bullsh*t, clouding the facts and twisting our brains on topics such as pollution, animal agriculture, fast fashion, human rights (all of which are intertwined) until we don’t know what to believe for ourselves and our collective understanding of global problems is manipulated by the highest bidder. Advertising even monopolises our own sense of self-worth, constantly pushing an image of who we should be striving to be. To see the world for how it is, and to make the world a better place, you first must permeate the bullsh*t and see BEYOND.
That is Adblock Lewisham’s purpose. We are going to block ad billboards and lobby our council to ban destructive, polluting adverts. Through these actions, we will empower as many people as possible to see through the bullsh*t and free themselves of advertising’s stranglehold. Then, hand in hand and with piercing newfound clarity, we will build a better world.