Spoof agency slams adland ‘carbon neutral’ claims in stunt

Spoof agency Atmospheric has taken aim at the use of the term ‘carbon neutral’, with a fake “tyre burning” campaign.

The website for Atmospheric, which was originally conjured up in response to McCann re-pitching for the Aramco account, claimed that it was unveiling the “world’s first carbon neutral tyre fire”.

The spoof claims that consumers can buy tyres online whose carbon footprint had been completely offset, even after burning.

The announcement included details of a fake tyre burning event, with a computer generated image of a huge tyre on fire in Trafalgar Square

The spoof agency was created by campaign group Glimpse in conjunction with Oli Frost and Utopia Bureau.

The fake agency has its own satirical website, LinkedIn page, fake pitch decks and dictatorial fake CEO named James Kolkot.


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Commenting on the mock event, Kolkot wrote on LinkedIn: “The emissions from the stunt will be paid off over several decades through tree planting, provided the trees aren’t cut down in the meantime, and assuming the trees wouldn’t have been planted anyway.”

It comes following a criticism of greenwashing and the climate impact of advertising, with Havas facing a backlash for taking on the Shell contract amid concern about hypocritical claims from the fossil fuel sector.

Green statements, like carbon neutral, came under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last year, with the regulator releasing fresh guidelines amid public confusion about terminology.

Image credit: Atmospheric/Glimpse

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