Two people work to cover an ad screen with a large paper sheet.

Adfree Cities Newsletter – August 2022

In this newsletter we hear from our local groups: Adblock Bristol are celebrating blocking 40 large digital screens in Bristol since 2017, Adblock Hackney are also celebrating an early success removing nine digital screens from local pavements, and we heartily welcome our newest local group Adblock Lewisham!

Also, take action against airline advertising and complain about BP’s latest greenwash ads. Read on to find out more…

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Take action against aviation advertising – 10th-17th September 2022

Adfree Cities are supporting a call to action from the Subvertisers International network and Brandalism to stand up against airline and airport advertising.

From 10th – 17th September 2022, citizens, activists and artists around Europe will be taking action to call for a ban on advertising for fossil fuels, including ads for profiteering energy giants, airlines and massive status-symbol cars.

You are invited to participate in actions: whether you choose to alter, replace or remove corporate ads, host a community workshop, or organise a demonstration at an airport or advertising agency, and whether your tactics are open or clandestine – you can get in on the action. Take a look at the action toolkit for ideas on how to get started.


Make a complaint about BP’s greenwashing ads

BP’s “Backing Britain” ads ring extremely hollow as the energy giant records bumper profits while British households reel from skyrocketing energy bills.

In response to the greenwashing and social irresponsibility of these ads, Adfree Cities and Adblock Norwich have submitted a joint complaint to the UK ad regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). If you want to make a complaint to the ad regulator, take a look at our blog for a how-to guide, and get in touch if you’d like support.


Adblock Hackney remove 9 digital billboards from pavements

Adblock Hackney have had their first major success after only forming in March this year! Hackney’s Planning Department refused JCDecaux’s application to keep 9 digital billboards, which were operating without official permission and blocking pavements, following Adblock Hackney’s campaign to have them removed. The group’s petition garnered over 150 signatures opposing the planning applications.

The contract for all of the other 59 pavement based billboards in Hackney expires SOON: on 31st August 2022. Adblock Hackney is encouraging people to sign a petition to tell the Mayor, TfL and local councillors that you want them all gone.


Adblock Bristol celebrate blocking 40 giant digital billboards! 

Five years ago Adblock Bristol was formed with the ambition to rid Bristol of corporate advertising in public spaces. 

Since then they have worked with Bristol City Council to bring an end to advertising for gambling, payday loans, junk food and alcohol on Council-owned sites; organised a petition signed by nearly 4,000 people to keep Bristol’s parks ad-free; coordinated community artwork on disused hoardings and held talks, workshops and street events. Now the group are celebrating their 40th huge new digital advertising screen refused, with a proposal for a new monster screen that garnered almost 100 objections from local people!

Over 36 smaller screens have also been refused during this time and the fight continues, with campaigns to stop all bus stop ad spaces in Bristol going digital and to take down two of Bristol’s biggest and most hated digital billboards.


Welcome to Adblock Lewisham!

Adblock Lewisham have become the third Adblock group in London and are raring to go with plans to block new billboards in the borough and challenge ad content.

If you live, work or play in Lewisham then get involved! 


Donate to Adfree Cities

The campaigning work Adblock Bristol has done since 2017 has inspired similar groups in Hackney, Norwich, Lambeth, Leeds, Cardiff, Birmingham, Exeter and now Lewisham. Would you consider making a small donation to Adfree Cities to help support this work?

If so, you can donate and share here: adfreecities.org.uk/donate

In solidarity,

Charlotte and the Adfree Cities team

Adfree Cities is a network of groups across the UK who are concerned about the impacts of corporate advertising on our health, wellbeing, environment, climate, communities and the local economy. We lobby for policy change at national and local levels, showcase alternatives, organise locally to stop new advertising sites in UK cities, and produce resources to raise awareness about the impacts of commercial advertising. 

Read our vision and values, and find out more in our FAQS.

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