Artists have been making parody advertisements in order to express their displeasure with the corporate sponsors of the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris. A large number of the sponsors aren’t exactly known for the most environmentally friendly practices.
Artists from the British activist group Brandalism installed 600 posters that mimic the real advertisements used by many of the sponsors of the climate summit. These parody posters have been placed throughout Paris for everyone to see. The phony advertisements criticize the association between consumerism and climate change.
Brandalism spokesperson Joe Elan said in a statement, “By sponsoring the climate talks, major polluters such as Air France and GDF-Suez-Engie can promote themselves as part of the solution, when actually they are part of the problem.”
The activist organization hired 82 artists from around the world to contribute to the campaign. The parody advertisements have been carefully designed to emulate the very tone and branding of the original advertisements. Brandalism says that it wants people to take a closer look at the advertisements that they see on a daily basis.
One poster used by Brandalism features a parody advertisement of German car company Volkswagen. Earlier this year, Volkswagen admitted to installing cheating devices in 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide in order to trick regulators into thinking the cars were compliant with emissions standards. In reality, the cars were actually emitting up to 40 times the allowable amount of greenhouse gases.
The parody advertisement says, “We're sorry that we got caught. Now that we've been caught, we're trying to make you think we care about the environment. But we're not the only ones."
The parody ads also targeted various world leaders. One poster features United States President Barack Obama swimming with one of his daughters while there is oil burning in the background. Another poster shows British Prime Minister David Cameron sporting a NASCAR driving suit that is filled with corporate logos.
One unnamed artist of the campaign said in a statement, “We are taking their spaces back because we want to challenge the role advertising plays in promoting unsustainable consumerism. Because the advertising industry force feeds our desires for products created from fossil fuels, they are intimately connected to causing climate change. As is the case with the climate talks and their corporate sponsored events, outdoor advertising ensures that those with the most amount of money are able to ensure that their voices get heard above all else."
So far, none of the attacked corporations or world leaders have offered a formal comment.