The run up to the local elections on 4th May 2023 provides us with an opportunity to ask local policymakers for change. Outdoor advertising is harming our health, the climate and local economies – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

We’ve put together a template email for election candidates and a short briefing detailing what powers are available to local authorities to take action against outdoor advertising, to help keep our cities healthier, happier and ad-free.

If elected, these councillors could be running your city or region for the next 4 years, so pledges they make now to ban, control or reduce advertising will have a long term impact. If you have a few minutes spare to contact the election candidates in your council ward, just follow our guide below.

How to contact election candidates in the ward where you live:

  1. Find the email addresses of your council ward candidates by searching on The Democracy Club.
  2. Copy, paste (and personalise if you wish) the template email below into an email to your local candidates, and send.
Copy and paste this Template Email to the election candidates in your ward.  

To: [Name of your ward] candidates
Subject: Policy to stop outdoor advertising billboards

Dear candidates,

I am writing to you to find out your views on corporate outdoor advertising ahead of the local elections on 4th May 2023. I am opposed to corporate advertising billboards, especially large new digital screens, on the grounds that they are bad for our wellbeing and mental health, degrade the character of our neighbourhoods and promote an unsustainable model of consumerism.

1. If elected, will you support the introduction of an ‘ethical advertising policy’ on Council-controlled sites (e.g bus stops)? This would restrict advertising that harms public health and increases emissions, such as ads for junk food, gambling, alcohol and environmentally-damaging products. Other local authorities have recently enacted similar policies.

2. Will you support a moratorium on new digital advertising billboards in your town/city? This could be in place until outdated national planning policy is reformed to allow councils to consider the specific impacts of digital billboards on local communities in planning decisions, such as climate, biodiversity and public health.

For more information on the background to these issues, please see this Briefing for Candidates:
https://adfreecities.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Elections-briefing-for-ALL-CITIES-Adfree-Cities-April-2023.pdf
and further information here: https://adfreecities.org.uk/how-to-create-ad-free-cities/ask-your-council-for-change/policy-recommendations/

Please copy hello@adfreecities.org.uk into your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Your Name
Your Postcode [it’s important to add your postcode so that the candidates know you live in their ward]

If you would like any assistance in contacting your local election candidates, please email charlotte[~at~]adfreecities.org.uk.

Image credit: Christopher Hoare