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Comms Declare, a group of communications and creative professionals supporting climate action, has asked major Australian awards to exclude fossil fuels from competition.

The petition has been launched along with a letter to the Australian Marketing Institute, the Public Relations Institute of Australia, Effie Australia, Cannes Lion Australia, B&T, Ad News and Mumbrella.

Air pollution from fossil fuels was responsible for 8.7 million premature deaths in 2018. Coal, oil and gas are also the main drivers of global warming which is responsible for more than 150,000 deaths every year.

Comms Declare co-founder, Belinda Noble said, “For more than 50 years communications industries have helped fossil fuel companies deceive the public about the health and environmental damage their products are doing. It’s time to take a stand and stop giving recognition to agencies that help products harm us.”

As part of the campaign, Comms Declare has launched an open creative brief, asking for work that expresses ‘fossil fuels are the new tobacco’. 

The brief has been kick-started by Comms Declare Creative Director, Matt Bray, with ads that parody old smoking campaigns.

“Old tobacco ads spruiking the health benefits of filter tipped cancer sticks are often looked at with bewilderment. That’s the destiny of any misleading greenwashing campaigns for the fossil fuel industry. It’s time to call them out and have some fun doing it.”

“Anti-smoking ads were some of the most powerful campaigns of recent decades. We hope creatives will rise to the challenge and give coal, gas and petroleum the same treatment,” added Belinda.

Campaigns against fossil fuel advertising and greenwashing have grown in recent years – with actions by Bushfire Brandalism and Brandalism UK.

Comms Declare represents more than 290 individuals and 70 organisations that have declared they will not promote the growth of fossil fuels.