Advertising, Climate Emergencies and @ManCityCouncil flogging the pavements to capitalists.

In July 2019 Manchester City Council declared a climate emergency, forced into it by local activists and FOMO – other big cities in the UK had already done so. Everything was going to change, oh yes.

Recently, Manchester City Council signed a £3m contract with the outdoors advertising company JC Decaux. For the coming years (how many?) pedestrians will have to blot out and dodge (physically, cognitively) videoscreens telling them to Buy More Shit.

Because Buying More Shit is what we all have to do to get The Economy going again, apparently. Who cares about the environmental consequences, amirite?

From blipverts to Badverts.

Here’s a FOIA.

Dear Sir/Madam

re: contract with JC Decaux for further visual and mental pollution of the streets

I am interested in the city council’s negotiations over this contract.

In response to a tweet on December 17th raising concerns about the Council’s tacit endorsement of bitcoin

https://twitter.com/cnorthwood/status/1471863910059982854

Someone from the Comms Team (which, let’s remind ourselves, thinks that 11 is more than half of 50, when it comes to carbon literacy training) replied on December 20


Hi Chris, Thanks for tagging us. @JCDecaux_UK run the adverts on their digital screens and will be able to advise

Presumably the Council will continue to punt on the morality of all this, so I am curious as to the original “thinking”
1. Was there any minuted discussion within The City Council  – between officers, between officers and Executive Members, between Executive Members – of the any legal liability arising from what is advertised on the displays, as per the December 17th tweet by Chris.  If so, please provide copies of those discussions/discussion documents

2. Was there any minuted discussion (same groups) of the morality, aside from legal responsibility, of encouraging further consumption/consumerism during a climate emergency?  If so, please provide copies of those discussions/discussion documents

3. During the negotiations with JC Decaux, did the Council propose to have any veto over what could be displayed?  If so, a) please provide a copy of what MCC proposed andb) what was JC Decaux’s response? (just summarise it, since that reply is probably covered by commercial confidentiality, innit?

4. When is the contract up for renewal?

5. Is further pollution of public space to be scrutinised by any scrutiny committee, ever? If so, which one will it be? 

6. Oh, and what risk assessments were conducted about distracting drivers, further light pollution for wild life and cluttering pavements to the detriment of the mobility of pedestrians and wheelchair users?  Please provide copies.


Please consider this a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
This entry was posted in Manchester City Council. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Advertising, Climate Emergencies and @ManCityCouncil flogging the pavements to capitalists.

  1. ianbodgerbrown says:

    Youarerite! And I wouldn’t touch Bitcoin, or any other digital currency, with a very long barge pole!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s