Environmental activist groups from the ‘Brandalism’ network have installed over 100 parody car advert posters on billboards and bus stops in England and Wales. The guerilla artworks featuring brands such as Range Rover, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Citroen, Lamborghini and Vauxhall were installed without permission in Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, London and Exeter.
The billboard posters criticise the car industry for misleading adverts that have driven up demand for polluting vehicles and private car use – resulting in increased carbon emissions from road transport and worsening air pollution and congestion in towns and cities.
“Car adverts promote private car ownership as a status symbol. Themes of power, success and social status are mixed with exotic locations and empty roads to promote a myth of freedom and mobility. The resulting problems of traffic congestion, worsening air pollution and climate breakdown are left out of these glitzy ads.
Outdoor advertising billboards are used to promote new cars to motorists stuck in traffic. It’s absurd.
Our towns and cities have become so dominated by private cars that we’re struggling to implement sustainable alternatives as the health and social costs mount. The active promotion of polluting vehicles through advertising campaigns isn’t helping the situation. We need a cultural shift away from cars,”
Peter Marcuse from Brandalism said.
Over 30 international artists including Paul Insect, Jimmy Cauty, street artist Dr.D, Fokawolf, satirist Darren Cullen, Matt Bonner and Michelle Tylicki created 45 different artwork designs.
Brandalism is an international collective of artists that challenge corporate power, greed and corruption around the world. Intervening into ad spaces that usually celebrate consumption, Brandalism use ‘subvertising’ as a lens through which we can view the intersectional social & environmental justice issues that capitalism creates.
In January 2020, 41 artists instigated Australia’s largest unsanctioned art campaign in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in the wake of devastating wildfires and inaction on the climate crisis. In 2015, the Brandalism group replaced 600 bus stop posters in Paris ahead of the UN climate talks critiquing major polluters such as Volkswagen and Air France.
Check out below for more photos of the advert posters.