A group of 8 people stand on the street holding a banner that reads "adfree cities"

We’re #BetterWithoutBillboards, and it’s time MPs took action

On March 5, Adfree Cities hosted an event at Portcullis House, opposite the Houses of Parliament, to launch our new research on outdoor advertising and inequality for an audience of MPs and civil society (and lovely Adblock groups).

We were thrilled to welcome Caroline Lucas MP and Barry Sheerman MP to speak, alongside Dr Emma Boyland, Dr Elizabeth Nixon, Julia Williams (who faced down advertisers when a giant digital screen was built outside her home) and former Adfree Cities team member Pete Brooks, who authored the research.

“It’s no overstatement to say that the issues with which this report deals really are a matter of life and death for all of us.”

Caroline Lucas, speaking at the Parliamentary launch

The event was a roaring success and a brilliant platform for us to bring our message to political prominence. We are calling on MPs to change planning laws to empower communities and local councils to say no to new advertising sites and to restrict the most harmful ads such as those for junk food and polluting products.

A woman speaks from a podium.

Take action

Now we need to push to keep this issue on the political agenda. You can help by writing to your MP to ask them to forward our concerns and recommendations to the secretary of state for levelling up. It takes just 5 minutes to use our template letter but makes a massive difference.

The research

The research, Unavoidable Impact, addresses the disproportionate placement of outdoor advertising in areas of low income, high deprivation and high levels of air pollution. The report finds that across England there is more than 6 times more outdoor advertising in the most deprived areas than the least deprived.

Our findings were covered by an exclusive in The Guardian and have been shared widely across social media.

We’ve also commissioned a shiny new video all about the research, which you can watch here now.

Photos from the day

Check out some of the best photos from the parliamentary event below. Many thanks to Angela Christofilou (@protests_photos) for the pics.

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