Imogen Watson
Nov 10, 2021

Advertisers sign open letter calling out tech platforms for climate misinformation

The open letter, led by the Conscious Advertising Network, has gathered more than 250 signatures and is addressed to the chief execs of Facebook, Instagram, Google, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and Reddit.

Advertisers sign open letter calling out tech platforms for climate misinformation

As COP26 draws to a close this week, the Conscious Advertising Network (CAN) has rallied brands, advertisers and the climate community to sign an open letter calling on global leaders and technology platforms to take action on climate misinformation. 

The open letter has more than 250 signatures thus far, including Al Gore's organisation, The Climate Reality Project, Sky, British Gas, Virgin Media O2 and Ben and Jerry's. 

The open letter criticises accounts and pages on digital platforms that benefitted from adspend, while producing and promoting climate misinformation during COP26. 

Daily misinformation monitored by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and more than 10 climate organisations at COP26 found that climate misinformation is rampant, and current measures from tech platforms have failed to catch it.

To put things in perspective, recent research by Stop Funding Heat located 113 ads on Facebook with messages such as "climate change is a hoax" between January and October 2021, with an estimated spend of $58,000-$75,000 (£42,000- £55,000).

Addressed to COP26 decision-makers and technology platforms, the letter asks for a universal definition of climate disinformation and misinformation. 

It also demands "action against climate dis/misinformation" to be included in the COP26 Negotiated Outcome, and for technology platforms to implement climate disinformation and misinformation policies and enforcement that extend to content, algorithms and advertising. 

It likens the policies to the robust Covid-19 work that have been published over the past 18 months.

Jacob Dubbins, co-founder of CAN, said: “There isn’t a universally agreed definition of climate dis- and misinformation, and most online platforms don’t have climate dis- and misinformation policies. Clearly, we need both of these in order to combat misinformation that can seriously halt developments we are making to limit global warming to 1.5ºC. We have seen misinformation derail conferences before and we cannot have it happen again. Our planet and our lives are at stake.”

List of signatories: 

  • Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation
  • May Boeve, executive director, 350.org
  • Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead Climate & Energy, COP20 President, former minister of environment for Peru
  • Bill Hare, CEO, Climate Analytics
  • Baroness Bryony Worthington, crossbench peer, House of Lords
  • Mark Lynas, climate author and pro-science advocate
  • Sir Jonathon Porritt, environmentalist and founder director of Forum for the Future
  • Bob Ward, policy and communications director at Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
  • Mohamed Adow, director, Power Shift Africa
  • Dr Sarah Evanega, director, Alliance for Science
  • Paulo Roberto Jubilut, biologist
  • Suzie Rook, head of brand and design, SSE
  • Claire Carrington, director of business services, SSE
  • Fiona Ball, group director, Bigger Picture, Sky
  • Jerry Daykin, senior media director, GSK Consumer Healthcare
  • Simon Groves, director of brand and marketing, Virgin Media O2
  • Andrew Middleton, commercial director, British Gas
  • Paul Polman, co-founder and chair, Imagine
  • Dr Dale Vince OBE, Green Britain Group — Ecotricity & Forest Green Rovers FC
  • Michael Khoo, climate disinformation co-chair , Friends of the Earth US
  • Robert Del Naja, artist and musician
  • Greg James, global CSO, Havas Media
  • Ben Downing, global managing director, ethical media and strategic partnerships, Havas Media
  • Nick Waters, group CEO, Ebiquity
  • The Right Reverend Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford
  • Dr Jonathan Barnard, CEO, World Land Trust
  • Laura Lesser, culture and innovation, Virgin Media O2
  • Amir Malik, MD, Accenture Interactive
  • Stephanie Brimacombe, CEO Europe and global chief marketing officer, VCCP managing director, Chime, VCCP
  • Harriet Kingaby, co-founder, Conscious
  • Advertising Network
  • Jake Dubbins, co-founder, Conscious Advertising Network
  • Tina Fegent, director, Tina Fegent Ltd/co-chair of the GSD Board, CAN
  • Dino Myers-Lamptey, founder, The Barber Shop/co-chair of the GSD Board, CAN
  • Kwai Chi, principal Social Media Manager, Intuit
  • Jane White, founder, JW Collective
  • Karen Carter, director enterprise marketing, Europe, Cvent
  • Christopher Kenna, CEO, Brand Advance Group
  • Victoria Fox, CEO, AAR
  • Leila Deen, ED of Purpose Climate Lab
  • Julia Masters, campaign manager, Climate Disinformation Coalition
  • Anita Howard, strategy director, ICE
  • John Mayes, company director/editor, Marshall Street Editors
  • Neil Chivers, owner/director, LD Communications
  • Tom Newton, founder, strategist, TGN ltd
  • Stephen Jenkins, founder and MD, Too Many Dreams
  • Goerge Harding-Rolls, campaigns adviser, Changing Markets Foundation
  • Lena Roland, Warc
  • Clare Martynski, communication and engagement Officer, University of Leeds
  • Sarah Tulej, sustainability consultant
  • Jacqueline Culleton, consultant
  • Anna Biswas, director, Forum for the Future India
  • Kyle Taylor, director, Fair Vote UK
  • Ben Ross, head of Aim4Zero, Real Estate Verco
  • Ian Cartwright, director, Elevenfiftyfive Ltd
  • Joanie Pennel, comms and marketing manager
  • Sam Fenton-Elstone, CEO, Anything is Possible
  • Ben Matthews, co-Founder and CEO, Empower Agency
  • Alex Tait, founder, Entropy
  • Steven Mijovski, director
  • Tom Jarvis, CEO and founder, Wilderness Agency
  • Tess Alps, council member, ASA
  • Caroline Bottomley, managing director, Shiny Awards
  • Angie Gola-Ebue, founder, Intermediary
  • Simon Watson, head of digital, Republic of Media
  • Bethany Patton, creative director, Brandmint
  • Samuel Wheeler-Phillips, head of marketing
  • Alasdair Cross, VP sales EMEA, Roq.ad
  • Mark Nicholson, finance director, Portas Agency
  • Kelly Conlon, senior strategy manager, Assembly
  • Matt Longley, managing director, Mobsta
  • Ben Hardman, founder, Tiny Eco Home Life
  • Sarah Casterline, owner and lead creative, Sarah Casterline Design, LLC
  • Michael Solomon, director, Responsible 100
  • Carol Edwards, community park ranger
  • Neil Gunn, head of digital transformation
  • Anna Rice, responsible tourism manager
  • Lesley Duncan, strategy director, Forwardpmx
  • Paul de Gregorio, founder, Rally
  • Sivah Akash, associate
  • Paul Sampson, CEO, Lickd
  • Jack Horner, founder, Dot Dot Dot Group/Strykk (Elegantly Spirited)
  • James Kirkham, chief business officer, Defected Records
  • Richard Dawes, founder, DawBell
  • Daniel Keam-George, founder and director, Keam George Agency
  • Chris Bettles, director, If Not Now Digital Ltd
  • Mel Leslie, consultant
  • Jeremy Paterson, MD, If media
  • Natalie Morris, global media and marketing consultant, Flock Associates
  • Will Pyne, founder, Human Required
  • James Green, senior strategy director, Assembly
  • Stan Mcleod, product
  • Hanna Henshall, director and co-founder, If Not Now
  • Raphael Kling David, climate activist- founder ECONFTS
  • Alex Stobart
  • Josey Bright, associate solicitor
  • Alice Thwaite, founder, Hattusia and the Echo Chamber Club
  • Michael Hanbury-Williams, group director, Data Solutions & Sustainability
  • Donald MacKenzie, Professor of Sociology, University of Edinburgh
  • Mark Howarth, managing director, MCH London
  • Gina Walker, director of client services, MCH London
  • Justin Cooke, venture partner, Northzone
  • Rosey Ellum, digital acquisition manager
  • Richard Wright, founder, Stand Up Marketing
  • Emilie Tornøe, account executive, Mch London
  • Hamish Blair, marketing officer, Gwent Wildlife Trust
  • Ged Colleypriest, founder, Underdog Sports Marketing
  • Louise Brown, supporter relations supervisor, Friends of the Earth
  • Miranda Romero, head of sustainability, The Lift
  • Sarah Greenfield Clark, director, Climate 2025
  • Liam Garcia Lillis, director, The Movements Trust
  • Amanda Nikolic, graphic/digital designer, MCH London
  • MJ Widomska, founder and creative director, YRS Truly
  • Emma Tozer, co-founder, Media Bounty
  • Sarah Miguel, head of income generation, Campaign Bootcamp
  • Amy Williams, CEO, Good-Loop
  • Nillie Munir, sponsorship, Virgin Media O2
  • Jason Hocking, managing director, CC Lab
  • Şehnaz Kiymaz Bahçeci, feminist activist
  • Russell Macdonald, chief technologist, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Vanessa Lewis, admin assistant, Barn Owl Trust
  • Mike Barry, Mike Barry Eco
  • Emma Bridge, chief executive, Community Energy England,
  • Polly Hibbert, head of product, Freeda Media
  • Dan Keenan, director, Digital Delivery, Merkle
  • Sam Ward, campaign manager, Climate Cymru
  • Professor Emeritus Robin Attfield, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Cardiff University, Cardiff and District United Nations Association
  • Jeremy Wadia, co-founder, EcoDewi
  • Margaret Minhinnick, director, Sustainable Wales
  • Andy Middleton, chief exploration officer, TYF Adventure
  • Mary Gillie, director, Energy Local CIC
  • Nick Lowles, CEO, Hope not Hate
  • Peter Carol, owner director, Pro Adventure Ltd
  • Ffion Rees, director, Falcon Boats
  • Hannah Garcia, director, Green Squirrel CIC
  • Rebecca Clark, director, Green Squirrel CIC
  • Stuart Elliott, Church in Wales vicar and member of C.H.A.S.E.
  • Domantas Tracevicius, director, VsI “Ziedine ekonomika”
  • John Mansfield, managing director, Pembrokeshire Seaweeds
  • Gonçalo Carvalho, executive co-ordinator, Sciaena
  • Brandi Guerkink, Mozilla
  • Steve Hynd, Policy Manager, City to Sea
  • Delphine Levi Alvares, European co-ordinator, Break Free From Plastic
  • Owen Haines, volunteer director, Carymor
  • György Szabó, Zero Waste program manager
  • Will Cardy, director of digital marketing, Platypus Digital
  • Stuart Elliott, vicar and member of CHASE
  • Melanie Lawson Wall, director of people and wellbeing, Brand Advance
  • Suzanne Iuppa, director and co-Founder, Deche Mobility
  • Robert Berkeley, CEO, EKCS
  • Jane Lawton, chief development and communications officer, Forum for the Future
  • Lucinda Thurmer, marketing manager
  • Chris Adams, co-director, The Green web Foundation
  • Carl Pratt, founder and creative director, Future Planet
  • Louise Workman-Dent, group curriculum director, New City College
  • Patrick S McCool, Passivhaus developer, Proven Cool Build, Lda
  • Tom Ollerton, founder, Automated Creative
  • Louisa Ziane, chief operating officer, Toast Ale
  • Chloe Wells, director, Twiglets Forest School
  • Michael Brown, CEO/founder, Asociat
  • Délcio Rodrigues, CEO, Instituto Climainfo
  • Flavia Bellaguarda, founder, LACLIMA
  • Dilip Shukla, managing director, Brand Advance
  • Hugh Knowles, co-executive director, Friends of the Earth — England, Wales and Northern Ireland

 

Source:
Campaign UK

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