“As the climate crisis looms as one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, we are being bombarded with ads encouraging us to buy gas-powered vehicles (gas or diesel), particularly SUVs and other light-duty trucks.” —David Suzuki Foundation
(This post is sourced from the David Suzuki Foundation campaign to regulate ads for gas-powered cars and light duty trucks.)
Reversing the trend
The Canadian Government has pledged to reduce emissions by 40-45% by 2030 as part of its overall climate strategy. The transportation sector—which accounts for 25% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs)—is an obvious target for emission reductions. Canada has committed that 100% of new vehicles sales will be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035, rising to 100% by 1940. And yet, auto manufacturers continue their relentless ad campaigns to sell gas-powered vehicles like there’s no tomorrow. Because, for combustion vehicles, there is no tomorrow.
Ads for vehicles are not regulated often depicting nature settings, pleasure outings and no mention of fuel consumption amounts or effects on the environment.
(Click here for the June 29, 2021 Government of Canada news release.)
The impact of ads on the vehicles we buy
The link between advertising and purchasing behaviour is strong. A 2021 Équiterre study shows that nearly half of new vehicle buyers admit that their decision was influenced by some type of media.
Yet Canada has no regulations to govern advertising on gas-powered cars, despite their environmental impact. — excerpt from Campaign
Car advertising, including ads for light-duty trucks, is prevalent in Canada. The automotive industry alone accounted for 21% of total digital advertising investment in 2018, putting it at the top of the list
- Four out of five (80%) new vehicles sold in Canada in 2020 were light-duty trucks – including sport utility vehicles (SUVs), crossover utility vehicles (CUVs), pickup trucks and minivans.
- Gas-powered vehicles, particularly light-duty trucks, have significant multidimensional impacts and we must recognize their proliferation on our roads as a public health and safety issue. We need to increase advertising regulations in order to reduce the demand for gas-powered large vehicles. (excerpts from campaign)
The petition demands that:
- That the federal government commit to banning advertising for all internal combustion vehicles by 2025;
- That the federal government immediately tighten the regulatory framework for automobile advertising, with a focus on the heaviest and most energy-consuming vehicles;
- That the Board of Directors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation update its advertising policy to no longer show advertising for internal combustion vehicles;
- That there be no cost to CBC to update its advertising policy. Automotive advertising is getting in the way of our climate goals and our work to protect our environment. It is high time that we stop allowing this influence.
“Automotive advertising is getting in the way of our climate goals and our work to protect our environment. It is high time that we stop allowing this influence.” —David Suzuki Foundation
For the full text of the petition and references, click on David Suzuki Foundation.
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