Earlier this week, the Green group of councillors called in the Mayor’s decision to roll out digital billboards in Bristol.
Advertising is well known to have a detrimental effect on people’s physical and mental health. Food advertising is linked to childhood obesity and the depiction of women in advertising has been linked to the growing number of girls with eating disorders. Digital billboards only increase an advert’s impact, particularly on children, and the Greens oppose their introduction into our public space.
Southville Green Party Councillor Steve Clarke urged the Mayor to show leadership and join the 1,400 other communities around the world who have rejected digital advertising, including Sao Paulo, which is working towards becoming a completely advert-free city. (Now, there’s a thought.)
Green Group leader Rob Telford says: “Digital billboards would increase street clutter, increase anxiety for residents, and do nothing for Bristol's small businesses. This decision will actively encourage large companies to come into the city to sell us more stuff that we don't need. Bristol is better than this."
Despite previous cross-party support for the call-in, Labour and the Liberal Democrats joined with the Tories and Mayor Ferguson to wave in digital billboards.