In the run up to the 2024 EU elections, party programs in France, Sweden and The Netherlands were analysed on (fossil) advertising restrictions.

France: broad range of parties want to restrict (fossil) ads and power of multinationals

The Ecologists - EELV have the program with most proposals regulating advertising and the power of multinationals. Their list aims to “put an end to illuminated billboards, particularly in public spaces, transport and shops. It also proposes to ban advertising for climate-destroying products (from the oil-gas and chemical sectors, etc.)”. But also “to create a law separating lobbies and institutions” or “to ensure that Europeans have the right not to be stalked online, by regulating targeted advertising in favor of contextual advertising, and by guaranteeing the right to privacy online free of charge.” With regard to digital-related uses, one stated objective is to “strengthen antitrust actions to prevent companies from dominating the entire online advertising ecosystem.

One of the members of this list, David Cormand, currently an MEP, has been involved in the fight against the advertising invasion for several years. He is the driving force behind the We Skip Ads campaign, which calls on us collectively and at European level to “skip” advertising, and recommends, among other things, “[t]o draw up a precise list of products and services whose consumption is qualified as ‘harmful to the protection of the environment, health or safety’, and exposes the limits of self-regulation."

Équinoxe also pledges to take action in this area in three ways:
- “Ban advertising promoting activities harmful to health and the environment;
- Regulate advertising to sharply limit incentives to consume;
- Ban advertising in the mass media and replace this source of funding with a levy on corporate added value”.

La France insoumise wants to ban illuminated ads.

The multi-party “Ecologie au center” list, for its part, in its 73rd measure, would like to “ban advertising for products harmful to the climate, nature and health,” without giving any further details.

For Place Publique and the Parti Socialiste, while the head of the list is in favor of a framework for advertising in the fast-fashion sector, there is no concrete indication of this in the program.

Nouvelle Donne and Allons Enfants have a program partially in preparation, which mentions media independence. However, their websites refer to party-specific programs. Nouvelle Donne's is committed to “setting rules to regulate mass advertising of industrial products whose over-consumption is dangerous for health, biodiversity and the climate, and even banning advertising for the most polluting forms of transport (air travel, combustion-powered vehicles over 1.4T and electric vehicles over 1.8T).” Allons Enfants makes no mention of advertising.

While the Parti animaliste does not mention specific actions against advertising in its program, it does include provisions on environmental labeling, as well as a commitment against light pollution.

The Pirate Party was in favor of banning video advertising screens in 2019, but this year's program makes no mention of this. Nevertheless, it goes some way towards reducing the power of multinationals, for example via “the creation of common goods, such as free software, free cultural goods, open patent tools and free and open educational material” or with the desire “[t]o ban the use of personal data for profiling purposes.

Europe Démocratie et Espéranto also makes no mention of the advertising issue, although it does state that “to guarantee the expression and diversity of opinions, the independence of the media, particularly from large industrial or financial groups, must be ensured.” A worthy announcement, but still vague.

(Translated from:

Sweden: at least 3 out of 4 red-green parties want to ban fossil ads 

An election compass for the EU elections produced by TT and Aktuell Hållbarhet asks whether the Swedish parliamentary parties believe that “the EU should ban advertising for all goods and services that use fossil fuels”.

Both the Green Party and the Center Party fully agree. The Left Party partially agrees and the Social Democrats partially disagree (it is unclear what the difference is). This means that at least three out of four red-green parties believe that the EU should introduce a ban on fossil fuel advertising. In just a few years, the proposal has gone from being a new and relatively unknown issue to being a multi-party proposal for the European elections.

With Fit for 55 and stricter climate targets, it is completely illogical that EU citizens should be faced daily with countless advertising messages that create dreams of a fossil-heavy lifestyle. In addition, we have all the fossil-heavy sponsorship that permeates large parts of the sport, not least football. Oil companies, airlines and car manufacturers wash their pants by being associated with healthy young people in the same way that tobacco companies once did.

Or as Stockholm's Environment and Climate Mayor Åsa Lindhagen (MP) stated during a parliamentary seminar in June last year: “Stockholm has adopted ambitious goals to reduce Stockholmers' consumption emissions, so it is counterproductive to have advertising for airplanes and large fossil-fuel-powered cars on the streets and squares.” The same is of course true at EU level.

Thankfully, tobacco advertising has long been banned. It started with a seed and actors who dared to lead the way and a movement that grew. Even then there were opponents, including the Conservatives, and of course it is the same now. But just as with tobacco advertising, it is only a matter of time before we get a ban. Sooner or later, advertising that drives increased greenhouse gas emissions will need to be regulated.

(Translated from:

The Netherlands: Greens/Labour combination, Animal party and Pan-European party Volt want to ban fossil ads

The Greens and the Labour party will run this year with a combined European candidate list. They state in their party program: “Less unhealthy advertising. We curb commercial advertising, starting with a ban on fossil advertisements and unhealthy things like (online) gambling, alcohol and fast food. Illegal advertising on social media is addressed as well as influencers who knowingly recommend products that harm children's health.”

The Animal party also wants to end fossil ads in the EU: “We require companies like Shell and BP to pay for the environmental damage they cause. They must also help pay for climate solutions. They should no longer advertise their products that are destroying the Earth.”

The pan-European party Volt states in their program: “Ban fossil fuel advertising, similar to the ban on cigarette advertising.”

(Translated from: