For several years now, the government and the Citizens' Climate Convention have had the ambition to take concrete measures in favour of the ecology. The Climate Law was born out of this desire. Among these environmental objectives, the government wishes to intervene on the reduction of greenhouse gases. This reform will therefore have an impact on the advertising sector. But how will advertisers adapt their marketing strategy?
Summary of the article: What has the Climate Law changed for advertising?
- What is the Climate Law?
- What does the Climate Law prohibit and allow?
- How to comply with the Climate Law in your advertising campaigns?
- Examples of communication with the Climate Law
What is the Climate Law?
Formed in 2019, the Citizens' Climate Convention works to integrate ecology into French society. It is made up of citizens chosen by lot whose mission is to define measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2020, this convention issued around one hundred proposals. Among them is the Climate and Resilience Act. The aim is to combat climate change by reducing waste and pollution.
The law was immediately accepted by the government. On 24 August 2021, it was promulgated and published in the Official Journal. So what will this climate bill change? First of all, all sectors of activity are affected. For example, schools will be obliged to offer vegetarian menus in their canteens and restaurant owners will be prohibited from heating their terraces.
A large number of professionals will therefore have to adapt to all these changes. Advertisers and advertising agencies will not be spared.
What does the climate law prohibit and allow?
We present you the prohibitions established by the Climate Law:
- Advertising banned for fossil fuels and polluting vehicles: this is one of the measures to be retained from this law: from 1 July 2022. However, fuels "whose renewable energy content is deemed to be greater than or equal to 50%" will not be affected
- Advertisements will now have to highlight the environmental impact of goods and services, whether it be the mandatory "carbon score", the (already mandatory) energy label for electronic products or the mention of the carbon dioxide emission class for cars. Radio advertisements, however, will not be affected. And for both categories: electronics and cars, this obligation to display information in advertisements will come into force on 1 March 2022
- From now on, it will be forbidden to state in an advertisement that a product or service is carbon neutral. The only exception will be if the advertiser "makes readily available to the public" a report on its greenhouse gas emissions and details of its approach to avoiding, reducing and only then offsetting them
- Air-towed advertising will be banned from 1 October 2022
- The distribution of samples to consumers "without their request" is prohibited. Newspapers and magazines are not affected by this provision. The measure will enter into force by 1 July 2022 at the latest
- From 1 January 2023, it will be forbidden to make carbon offsetting and carbon neutrality claims in advertising campaigns without explaining the carbon footprint and any offsetting measures. Advertisers will have to back up their claims with figures and documentation (clickable link or QR code that redirects to the advertiser's website). A good resolution to avoid greenwashing as much as possible. This decree, published in the Official Journal on Thursday 14 April 2022, is in place for all communication media (press, television, posters, web, etc.).
Failure to comply with these provisions is punishable by a fine of up to the full amount of the expenditure on the illegal advertising operation.
How to comply with the Climate Law with its advertising campaigns?
New techniques allow for the respect of the environment: vegetable ink, posters made of 100% recycled paper or even advertising bicycles in the city that do not emit CO2.
A special feature for billboards in municipalities
It is the mayors who decide on advertising in their municipalities. The local advertising regulations can also regulate illuminated advertising in shop windows.
There are "green" mayors, such as in Lyon, whose environmental actions have made them more environmentally friendly.
For example, the mayor of the city of Lyon, Grégory Doucet, had proposed many ecological projects in terms of advertising displays. Today, 4 measures have been put in place since he took office as mayor of Lyon. These four measures include: "Adopting an ambitious policy of responsible public purchasing" and "Limiting the amount of advertising in the public space". The mayor of Lyon wants local authorities to include a ban on video advertising screens in their local advertising regulations.
Examples of communication in line with the Climate Law
More and more companies are paying special attention to the ecological transition, employing new environmentally friendly measures for their advertising. We have selected some examples of responsible advertising for you:
The LAST make-up brand: this company innovates with the replacement of petroleum by an ecological material with the help of researchers to recreate a molecule that has the same and the same performance from 100% natural renewable resources.
For their outdoor advertising, LAST has chosen vegetable-based ink for their displays in Paris:
Another example of eco-responsible advertising with the brand Chocapic:
For its "Funnily more responsible Chocapic" campaign, which highlights the brand's more responsible commitments, Chocapic opted for an eco-designed advertising campaign. The characters are made of wood and clay, the sets were made of recycled materials and the electricity used to shoot the advertising video was "100% green".
This advert has been certified by Albert (the film and television industry's leading authority on sustainability).
France, very well placed in eco-responsible advertising
The best global CSR advertising campaigns were judged in the annual ranking by Warc and ACT Responsible. The Good Report measures the best uses of creative to promote sustainability and social responsibility to raise awareness of key environmental issues.
The leading country is the United States, with France coming in second place ahead of Brazil, the United Kingdom and Australia. A great ecological advance for France!