Adfree Cities conference 2020 speakers first session

Our #AdfreeCities conference 2020

In November 2020, Adfree Cities hosted the UK’s second annual anti-advertising conference.

(More info and copies of presentations here.)

We heard from several exciting organisations that are campaigning for spaces free from the deceptive messages of corporate advertising.  These included climate charity Possible and thinktank the New Weather Institute who have launched their Badvertising campaign against ads for high carbon products; and law firm Client Earth who are exposing fossil fuel company greenwash. We learnt how you can take action against harmful advertising via your local council. (Videos of the presentations available here.)

Sophie Marjanac from Client Earth talks about their work holding fossil fuel companies to account for misleading advertising.

Next, we went on a virtual street art tour, seeing and hearing about art projects across the UK that represent a positive alternative to commercial messaging in public spaces.

One of the ‘Seven Saints of St Pauls‘ Murals by Michele Curtis (Iconic Black Britons)

And finally, we heard from campaigners in impacted communities that don’t feature in the slick billboard ads of major polluters or high street banks, such as Justiça Ambiental from Mozambique who are resisting HSBC-financed gas extraction.

‘Subvertised’ billboard in Glasgow celebrating grass roots resistance in Mozambique. Put up by Brandalism in 2020 as part of the #FossilBanks campaign. Artwork by Rudy Loewe.

You can learn more about all our guest speakers and their projects by visiting our Conference 2020 page.

Following our first national event in Autumn 2019, this year’s online event aimed to build on the growth of the Adfree Cities network over the past year, in which Cardiff and Bristol have been joined by Birmingham, Leeds and Exeter. And we were not disappointed – during the event we heard that new ‘Adblock’ groups are aiming to set up in Norwich, Brighton, London and Colchester!

If you are interested in setting up a new group, check out our guide to starting a new campaign, and get in touch.

And don’t miss our virtual noticeboard, where conference attendees have left notices about projects that might be just what you’re looking for – including artists seeking collaborations, petitions to sign, and new Adblock groups looking for members.

Want to hear about the next Adfree Cities event? Join our mailing list.

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