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Polluting Our Minds and Fuelling Climate Chaos

by Andrew Simms and Leo Murray

Uncovers the devastating psychological, social and environmental costs of advertising

**An Independent Book of the Month**

'Brilliant ... if you thought your brain was being gently warmed by the advertising industry, read this book and you'll realise it's being fried' - Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

Advertising is selling us a dream, a lifestyle. It promises us fulfilment and tells us where to buy it - from international flights to a vast array of goods we consume like there is no tomorrow. The truth is, if advertising succeeds in keeping us on our current trajectory, there may not be a tomorrow.

In Badvertising, Andrew Simms and Leo Murray raise the alarm about an industry that is making us both unhealthy and unhappy, and that is driving the planet to the precipice of environmental collapse in the process.

What is the psychological impact of being barraged by literally thousands of advertisements a day? How does the commercialisation of our public spaces weaken our sense of belonging? How are car manufacturers, airlines and oil companies lobbying to weaken climate action? Examining the devastating impact of advertising on our minds and the planet, Badvertising also crucially explores what we can do to change things for the better.

Andrew Simms is the author of many books including The New Economics, Ecological Debt, Tescopoly and Cancel the Apocalypse and Economics: A Crash Course. He co-founded the New Weather Institute and coordinates the Rapid Transition Alliance. He is a research associate at the Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex, a fellow of the New Economics Foundation (NEF), and is a frequent contributor to the Guardian and BBC. He co-founded the Green New Deal group in 2007, the climate campaign that ran until 2017, and devised Earth Overshoot Day.

Leo Murray co-founded Plane Stupid, where he played a central role in strategic planning and communication for three years from 2006. He also designed and co-founded the climate change campaigning organisation Possible in 2009, where he is currently director of innovation. Murray is the brains behind the Frequent Flyer Levy, and strategy lead for the Rapid Transition Taskforce. He was previously a part-time political advisor on the transition to a sustainable economy to Labour's Shadow Minister for Sustainable Economics, Clive Lewis MP.

'Examines the environmental, mental and social costs of advertising'

- 'Independent'

‘A wonderfully witty, biting and really useful exploration of all the wrong that ads do’

- 'Irish Independent'

'Why do we allow adverts that actively promote our own destruction? Halting climate catastrophe is hard enough without ads selling things that pollute more. It's extraordinary the simple case for tobacco-style bans hasn't been made so clearly before. With Badvertising, Simms and Murray have done the world an urgent favour. Funny and readable, [it] will make us all see the world and the advertising we are immersed in 24/7 in a very different way.'

- Dr Chris Van Tulleken, infectious diseases doctor, broadcaster and author of 'Ultra-Processed People'

'Brilliant work ... if you thought your brain was being gently warmed by the advertising industry, read this book and you'll realise it's being fried. I couldn't believe just how effective and how underhand some of the tactics being used in advertising are Badvertising shows how we are all prisoners, but it also passes us the keys to our cells. This book was a watershed moment for me. Since it can't have an advertising campaign, we all need to tell our friends about it.'

- Jeremy Vine, broadcaster, journalist, host of BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show

'A hugely timely and important book that grapples with advertising's role in enabling climate crimes - and sets out why and how we need to stop the industry's complicity in its tracks, for the sake of a liveable future.'

- Caroline Lucas MP

'A much-needed book whose time has come. The continued advertising of high-carbon products at a time of climate crisis is a form of insanity. The authors are absolutely right to call for a ban, and it can't happen too soon.'

- Bill McGuire, Professor Emeritus of Geophysical & Climate Hazards, UCL

'Simms and Murray are right to lay so much blame at the door of the advertising industry ... [they] are clear-headed guides through the fog. Learn the history, be enraged at the tactics, and join the struggle for a less polluted public sphere.'

- Sam Knights, writer, actor, activist

List of Figures
Introduction: Advertising and the Insidious Rise of Brain Pollution
1. Badvertising, Priming, Propaganda and Surveillance Advertising
2. How Advertising Increases Consumption
3. How We Banned Tobacco Advertising
4. Sports Advertising and Sponsorship: The Great Pollution Own Goal
5. How Big Car Persuaded Us to Buy Big Cars
6. How Airlines Took Us For a Ride
7. Why Self-Regulation Isn’t Working
8. A World Without Advertising

Published by Pluto Press in Nov 2023
Paperback ISBN: 9780745350295
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745349145
eBook ISBN: 9780745349152

153mm x 234mm