Adblock Hackney Takes Action Against Digital Ads

Published:
4:02 PM 5 April 2022



Campaigners against digital advertising screens in Shoreditch took action last month by covering the units with sheets of paper and asking passers-by what they would like to see the electronic billboards replaced.

Adblock Hackney organized the action on March 25 as part of an international movement against fossil fuel advertising.

Using colored pens, residents of Hackney filled in the sheets of paper with their thoughts on how to improve the space where two LCD display panels currently sit.


Audiences were asked what they would like to see digital ads replaced
– Credit: Adblock Hackney

Suggestions included art, book swaps, “a picture of my grandmother”, compliments, poetry, jokes, dating advice, nothing, a seed bank and trees.

Activists also asked the public how much electricity they think digital ads consume.

According to the technical specifications of an advertising license renewal application for a sign in Shoreditch, an 84″ digital screen that includes two LG LCDs consumes 28.56 kWh.


Campaigners push for Hackney Council to adopt ethical advertising policy

Campaigners push for Hackney Council to adopt ethical advertising policy
– Credit: Adblock Hackney

According to Ofgem, the average household in the UK has 2.4 people and uses 8kWh of electricity.

This means that one screen consumes as much energy as more than three average UK households each day.

However, the specification also states that the displays are “the most energy efficient in their class”.

He adds that the digital modules are “long-lived and fully recyclable.”


A passerby writes on the covered panel

A passerby writes on the covered panel
– Credit: Adblock Hackney

Activists also collected signatures opposing demands for billboard renewals in Shoreditch, while calling on the council to implement an ethical advertising policy.

They want the council to remove power-hungry digital screens and ban any advertising selling or relying on fossil fuels.

The group plans to hold a meeting at the end of April.

A council spokesman said street billboards “provide a vital source of income”.

They added: “The pandemic has proven that they are also an invaluable platform for important public health messages.”

The council is currently working on an evaluation of its advertising sites.

“As soon as it’s over,” the spokesperson said.

“We will make a decision on the future of the sites.”

The council said it could not comment on live scheduling applications.

To find out more visit adfreecities.org.uk/adblock-hackney

To sign the petition visit actionnetwork.org/petitions/no-to-9-new-digital-advertising-boards-in-shoreditch