Greens look to limit the spread of harmful advertising

12 March 2021


Greens look to limit the spread of harmful advertising


Green Party councillors Martin Schmierer and Jamie Osborn are seeking to persuade Norwich City Council to stop advertising such things as junk food, environmentally polluting products and activities, payday lenders, gambling and alcohol. [1]


They also wish to prevent new advertising hoardings being placed near schools.


Green Party councillors have said that they hope this will lead to a wider debate about such advertising more generally across the city and the country.


Councillor Martin Schmierer, who is proposing the motion, said:

“Sadly, advertising is ubiquitous within our lives: when we turn on our phones to when we go for a walk or run around the city it is always on display. Products that are being advertised include ones that are either damaging to our own health or that of the planet or wider community and therefore lawmakers and politicians need to have a debate about how much of that we permit.


“I would like Norwich to step up and commit itself to doing what it can to make such harmful adverts a thing of the past.”


Greens have also pointed to the fact that there is a strong precedent for banning such advertising. Most forms of tobacco advertising and sponsorship were banned from 2003 (e.g. on billboards and in printed publications): tobacco sponsorship of international sport was banned from 2005. [2]


The government is also in the process of reviewing gambling advertising. There has been growing popular pressure being put on the government and football authorities to remove gambling advertising in the sport. [3] Currently two thirds of teams in the Championship have shirts sponsored by gambling companies (including Norwich City) and only three teams in the top flight are believed to have no links with the gambling industry. [4]


Councillor Schmierer said:

“For me, what is especially concerning is the amount of advertising that is either directed at children or in places where children gather. As someone who loves to watch football, for instance, it always disappoints me especially when I see how many gambling companies are being advertised in the stadium – a place which is meant to be family friendly.”


Earlier this month, Bristol Council became the first council to outline its policy to ban junk food, gambling and alcohol products. [5]


The motion on whether Norwich will follow suit is set to be debated by city councillors next Tuesday (16th March).


Further information from:

Councillor Martin Schmeirer                











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