Creativity has consequences, so we cannot be neutral. As communicators, we have the power to inspire change, or to keep serving destruction. Read the ‘Climate Emergency and Creative Conflicts letter’ to find where we stand. #creativesforclimate
If you’re an agency or creative who recognises the state of the world we live in, and want to doing something about it, read our Climate Emergency and Creative Conflicts letter and declare your commitment
We commit that before this year is done, we will disclose our ‘climate conflicts’. Read more to see other creatives and agencies that have done the same
Climate Emergency and Creative Conflict Letter
As creatives, communications agencies and media experts, we see the climate emergency.
Just over a month ago, Extinction Rebellion (XR) called upon advertising agencies to “Declare a climate & ecological emergency and act accordingly.”
Those of us who have signed below agree. Because creativity has consequences, so our industry cannot be neutral. As communicators, we have the power to inspire change, or to keep serving destruction.
We could end this letter here, with a commitment to use our power of persuasion and storytelling for the right side of history.
But a promise is not enough, because our industry hasn’t faced the same scrutiny as others. Remember, we’re good communicators and might be able to wiggle out of this.
Therefore, the agency signatories below commit that before this year is done, we will disclose our ‘climate conflicts’. Whilst respecting client confidentiality, we will reveal the percentage of our turnover categorisedby industry, including income from fossil fuel companies and other high carbon clients. Some of us have already done so (marked below).
The individual creatives who have signed below will simply not work on fossil fuel client briefs, no matter which Agency we are with.
We know many of our colleagues and friends across the creative industry are anxious/terrified about the climate emergency. We also know that disclosing climate conflicts will be too early, and too controversial, for many Agencies today.
But, we firmly believe that we cannot serve climate solutions, whilst still serving the industries most answerable for causing the climate emergency.
And of course, disclosure is only the first step on a journey that must lead to divestment - divesting agency client rosters of these clients. Agencies need to align our businesses with the climate science, just like everyone else.
Thanks for the nudge, XR
‘Creativity will help solve the climate emergency. That’s the power of imagination, invention, problem solving and storytelling. But not if the advertising, PR and marketing industry keep serving the problem. That’s why creatives, especially young talent, are opting out of destruction. They are powerful communicators themselves, so they know spin when they see it. Declaring your agency purpose without disclosing proof simply won’t cut it anymore. At Futerra we’ve spearheaded this letter to help put agencies on the right side of history.’
Solitaire Townsend, Co-Founder, Futerra
‘We are a $1.3 trillion sector. That worldwide marketing spend needs to support the shift to a low carbon economy, and fast. In supporting our clients towards this shift, Futerra has found the payback to be huge. We get brilliant briefs from forward thinking clients and the best talent. With the publication of our second Client Disclosure Report, we invite more competition; the world needs it!’
Lucy Shea, Group CEO of Futerra
‘Transparency is a mandate for all global businesses today – and advertising and PR should be no different. Creativity and messaging can change the world – and in this time of climate emergency, we need to ensure they are being deployed to accelerate sustainable development, not hinder it. Transparency is the first step on this journey.’
Freya Williams, North America CEO of Futerra
‘This is a great first step and in line with Extinction Rebellion's first demand to Governments: to 'Tell The Truth' - to share the seriousness of our climate & ecological emergency. It's great that individuals, businesses and whole industries are starting to get the message and doing the same. Industries need to come together, be open, honest, disclose their business actions that are in conflict with life itself and follow with fast and meaningful action.
Though Extinction Rebellion wrote an open letter to industry leaders, we recognise that everyone in a company can put pressure on their employers to act now. Creatives can have a huge role; to tell the truth, refuse to work with toxic clients or on briefs that will harm the environment.
So many agencies claim to understand Gen-Z audiences yet promote ecologically damaging clients and behaviours, even greenwash fossil fuel companies, actions which will ensure that these young people who are deeply concerned for their planet, will have a future at all.
We encourage all agencies to sign and disclose, for employees to rise up and demand change, for individual creatives to use their talent on the right side of history. We are running out of time.’
William Skeaping, Extinction Rebellion