The IPA, Advertising Association and ISBA have provided a joint statement and FAQs on Purpose Disruptors’ Advertised Emissions paper.
"Further to work by the Saïd Business School at Oxford University, we do not support the 'Advertised Emissions' methodology put forward by Purpose Disruptors. Said’s work describes how applying the 'Financed Emissions' framework from the finance industry to the advertising industry is a 'significant accounting error' that 'creates a… false equivalence'. In addition, it leads to a significant overstating of emissions attributable to an advertising campaign by ignoring advertising‘s displacement effects – the sale of one product or service means the lost sale of another in most markets. A further challenge is the way 'advertising spend' is used as a key driver. Increases in 'advertising spend' in recent years for some brands and sectors have occurred during periods of significant media price inflation. Under the Advertised Emissions model this results in a higher final 'Advertised Emissions' calculation but does not necessarily relate to emissions and climate impact.
"We must assess the emissions linked to advertising accurately because our industry plays a vital part in a healthy, competitive economy, which in turn is an important engine for growth, social mobility, better living standards and health outcomes for families and communities. We can reduce emissions from the production and distribution of advertising through increasing the takeup of tools and calculators like AdGreen and the work by the IPA, WFA and GARM on media plans. This will complement the work of the advertisers, who are working through how to decarbonise their entire businesses. Collectively, we can change the way we work, and change the work we make in support of a net zero economy."Stephen Woodford, Paul Bainsfair and Phil Smith have also co-signed a detailed reaction via Campaign