Tuesday, 12 Mar 2019 13:02 GMT

City calls for cap on digital advertising

Hundreds of people are campaigning to have advertising billboards in Bristol capped, with a halt put on planning permission for future advertising.

Campaigners who believe advertising in the city is having a negative impact on residents have signed a petition calling for Bristol to become the first city to put a ban on any new advertising billboards. A total of 3,500 names are needed on the petition in order to prompt a council debate on the issue.

Adblock Bristol, an anti-advertisement organisation, is leading the campaign and was formed in April 2017 out of a desire to create a city free from the pressures of corporate outdoor advertising.

“Bristol is already full of corporate advertising billboards calling on us to buy junk food, fizzy drinks, new cars, fast fashion and the latest consumer craze,” states the organisation on its website. “These billboards are bad for our mental health, our levels of personal debt, our wellbeing and our environment. We want to create a happier, healthier and less stressed out city.”

These billboards are bad for our mental health, our levels of personal debt, our wellbeing and our environment

With the advertisement industry regularly submitting new planning applications for more digital screens, Adblock Bristol says that in the last year, residents across the city have mobilised over 600 planning objections to these proposals.

The organisation is using the revision of Bristol Council’s ‘Local Plan’ as an opportunity to address the issue at a policy level and is calling for change which would mean that the default position of planning officers is to reject planning applications for new billboards.

The organisation, which is volunteer-led, currently receives funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter.