Another unsatisfactory measure according to the Citizen’s Climate Convention. Proposals that frame advertising in the bill against climate change are criticized by responsible citizens. They believe that the measures discussed this week in Parliament are disappointing compared to their proposals.
A limited field of action
The 150 citizens of the Citizen’s Climate Convention (CCC) proposed to ban advertising from 2023 on products that emit the most greenhouse gases. The move had blown up advertisers, who particularly feared its effect on the automotive industry, the market’s second-largest advertiser.
Finally, the draft climate law restricts the scope of the measure to advertising only “for fossil fuels”, and provides for its application one year after the entry into force of the text.
“The intention of the CCC is respected, the ambition a little less. (…) The large companies that sell these energies rather propose either their name as a brand or their offer of renewable energies ”, the CCC support group judged in a report.
A law applicable “only to gas cylinders” …
“There is almost nothing in the bill. Until recently, it was difficult for me to even see what the measure applied to: gas cylinders in fact. I will propose by amendment a real regulation of advertising of the most polluting products,” he added Deputy Matthieu Orphelin. that left the majority.
The Council of State itself had considered that, given the “infrequent nature of these direct announcements”, the prohibition measure lacked its objective.
… And only for outdoor advertising!
And the association Resistance to advertising aggression (RAP) pointed out that the measure was in the current state of the text applicable only to outdoor advertising.
However, the law establishes that advertising professionals (media and advertisers) voluntarily commit to implement codes of good conduct under the control of the CSA, the audiovisual police.
The government has appointed the president of the advertising giant Publicis France, Agathe Bousquet, and the president of the Environment Agency (Ademe), Arnaud Leroy, to encourage the sectors to commit quickly to this “climate contract”.
“Ultimately, there will no longer be advertising for all polluting products, so polluting cars won’t run away,” Ecological Transition Minister Barbara Pompili said on February 11 on France Inter. And “if the commitments are not serious enough, there will be prohibitions in the law.”
The supervision of the advertising screens returned … to the municipalities
The bill provides for the attribution of advertising surveillance powers to mayors or inter-municipal presidents, while, in the absence of local regulations, up to now this prerogative has been exercised by the State.
This includes digital advertising screens and backlit panels, criticized by environmental associations for their impact on electricity consumption and light pollution.
Local advertising regulations may also govern certain characteristics of advertising displays placed in shop windows.
The collective “Touche pas à ma vitrine” denounces an “alarming attack on the freedom of business and commerce” and a federation of the sector considers that “the local authorities do not have to interfere in the private part of the business”.
“A sweetener” according to the CCC
The Citizens’ Convention regretted a “relaxation of (its) prescription”, which provided for a very strong limitation of advertising in the public space, while pointing out that a minority of its members “considers it democratically relevant to leave more responsibilities to mayors” .
“If decentralization is the best way to improve the police screen, that suits us very well,” Stéphane Dottelonde, president of the Union of Outdoor Advertising, told reporters.
Outdoor advertising groups rely on digital displays to modernize their offering and compete with the digital giants.
Towards the end of the contested activities
The distribution of brochures at home may be prohibited “on an experimental basis” and for three years in the voluntary municipalities, unless the recipient expressly accepts it with a ‘Yes Pub’ sticker on their mailbox.
Vehicle advertising prohibited
The market for “non-addressed printed material” still represented 594 million euros of advertising investment in France in 2019, 5% less.
The government also wants the distribution of samples to consumers to be subject to the “express request” of the consumer.
Finally, it provides for a fine of 1,500 euros for advertising carried out with vehicles, in particular, advertising of airplanes in summer in front of the beaches.
5,000 amendments submitted
For Khaled Gaiji, spokesman for RAP, these few measures allow the government to “create a detour” and hide “its renounces to the ban on the advertising of polluting products or the cessation of digital advertising screens.”
More than 5,000 amendments have been tabled throughout the text, and the industry will closely follow those related to advertising.
According to the director general of the Trade Union of Trademarks, Jean-Luc Chetrit, “we should not worry about a softening of the text, but rather we should ask ourselves how far it will harden”.