The advertisement which causes scandal in Wallonia: “It is a nameless cruelty and an extreme disrespect towards many people”

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At least two complaints were addressed to the Jury of Advertising Ethics, to the Federal Minister in charge and to Brussels Airlines for an advertising poster of the airline considered controversial, said Friday in a joint statement Christine Mahy of the Walloon Network for the fight against poverty and Pierre Ozer, researcher in climatology and natural risk management at ULiège.

The controversial poster in question shows a child with his head under water holding his breath, accompanied by the slogan “Come on, let’s hold on.” What if you already book for later? “. Problem: the advertisement was broadcast in regions affected by the bad weather in mid-July 2021, which claimed the lives of more than 30 people and still deprive many of the victims of their homes.

“This advertising campaign is shocking in more than one way, because it imposes in the sight of all and all a non-respect of the populations that unexpected realities like the historic floods of July put in very uncomfortable situations”, indicates the communicated. “It is a nameless cruelty and an extreme disrespect towards many exhausted people, some of whom have fallen into precariousness, following the various recent crises”.

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“The advertising uses the drama experienced by a very large number of Belgians, suggesting that the trip could ‘save them’. While it is precisely these people who for the most part will not be able to go on vacation and for whom the priority of financial expenditure will be oriented towards the vital, ”the press release said.

Finally, and more broadly, the people behind the press release consider it clumsy, in view of the link between global warming and the floods that have taken place, that such consumerist advertising and urging to take a polluting means of transport could to exist. “We call for a definitive ban on advertisements that encourage citizens to consume more and more by creating non-essential needs that emit extremely greenhouse gases. “


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