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Media Bounty at COP26

by Jake Dubbins - November, 2021

I have spent the last week at COP26. It has been the most overwhelming week of my professional life. The scale of the conference is vast. The complexity of the negotiations on everything from finance to adaptation and loss, transparency of pledges to halting deforestation, is daunting.

The whole thing is utterly exhausting.

Now that I am back home I am reflecting on how proud I am of the Media Bounty team. They have done more than their bit to support climate action at COP26. Our achievements include:

FACT Dialogue Branding

In early 2021 the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy came to us to with a brief to transform the dubiously named SLUCT (Sustainable Land Use and Commodity Trading Project) into a brand that could grace the halls of COP26 and the world stage.

Our creative team delivered an amazing response, culminating in the launch of the Forest, Agricultural and Commodity Trade Dialogue. The FACT Dialogue for short. The new branding was a huge departure for a Government project. I will always remember when we delivered the look and feel to the lead of the project David Saddington, he told us it made him feel ‘really emotional.’

The project launched on the 21st February with the UK and Indonesia as co-chairs. Fast forward to November… The FACT Dialogue branding is now on stage in front of world leaders at COP26 as countries come together to tackle deforestation and food security.

‘The FACT Dialogue process has created new momentum – from 28 countries – to work on issues of trade, forests and finance in an integrated way. Bringing these governments together – from the global south and north – to tackle the issue of commodity production and deforestation head on is a very significant development.’

Justin Adams, Executive Director, Tropical Forest Alliance, World Economic Forum

The World is looking to you COP26

Over a year ago, we did not know if COP26 was going to take place in person. But we did know that, if it did, prime advertising space in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London could be used to make a difference. So we purchased the top packages from each of the OOH media owners.

We did this to ensure that advertising space around COP26 was dedicated to the climate emergency, rather than being left solely to corporates. Quadrature Climate Foundation (QCF) made resources available to purchase the advertising sites and then IRIS developed the advertising campaign.

Many of the cohort of organisations featured on the campaign microsite are grantee organisations of QCF.

Over 40 organisations make up the cohort. All have different areas of focus but are united in the belief that COP26 is a hugely important moment to reach delegates. Some cohort members are even sharing the campaign sites to communicate their own important messages.

  1. New Automotive
  2. WWF
  3. Ember
  4. The Climate Coalition
  5. We Are Futerra
  6. Arctic Base Camp
  7. The Good Food Institute
  8. Fossil Fuel Non Proliferation Treaty


Now, the space being used by a broad, diverse group of organisations calling on delegates to seize the opportunity presented by COP26 and to work together for the future of humanity, rather than to promote the messages of big polluters.

The media team at Media Bounty have made a herculean effort; juggling multiple creatives, sites and formats. It has all been delivered with incredible calm and professionalism.

After a year as a ‘work in progress’ it was amazing to see the ads all over the transport network and in Glasgow. The aim was to make sure delegates saw our ads and not fossil fuel ads. It was incredible to see Archie Young, the UK’s lead negotiator, sharing a video of the ad at Euston on Twitter as he travelled up to Glasgow!

In the whole time I was in Glasgow, I did not see a single fossil fuel ad. So, job done!

Rewriting Extinction

Since 2008, when Media Bounty first started, we have been supporting conservation charity, World Land Trust. Over the years, we’ve donated tens of thousands of pounds to protect critically threatened habitat. In addition, we’ve helped to train some of their team, and run pro-bono strategy and creative projects. Our co-founder, Emma Tozer, is a trustee of the charity and through her role she introduced an amazing project run by the inspirational Paul Goodenough.

The Most Important Comic Book in the World is a global collaboration for planetary change. It brings together 300 leading environmentalists, artists, authors, actors, filmmakers, musicians, and more to present over 120 stories to save the world.

The project had celebrity names such as Cara Delevingne and Andy Serkis, hilarious webcomics from War and Peas and Ricky Gervais, artworks by leading illustrators David Mack and Tula Lotay, calls to action from activists George Monbiot and Jane Goodall and powerful stories by Brian Azzarello and Amy Chu. So it had quite a lot!

What it didn’t have was a brand. That’s where the Media Bounty creative team stepped in. We created the name, logo and brand identity for the project – Rewriting Extinction.

At COP26 the project has gone stratospheric. Leonardo DiCaprio himself was photographed holding a copy of the book. Published by DK, it’s available now from all good bookstores.

Please buy from your local book shop, not from Amazon. After all, we don’t want to contribute to more carbon mega projects like a billionaire’s rocket trips.

ACT  

As part of the IPA’s Media Climate Charter, we launched a guide to climate misinformation called Change the Narrative. The guide aims to equip media agencies with knowledge about climate misinformation. This includes what to look for and how to avoid funding it.

We discovered climate NGOs weren’t equipped to deal with the tsunami of misleading climate content. So we launched ACT (Act for Climate Truth) in advance of COP26.

ACT is a network of climate organisations and experts in the advertising and marketing industries, using cutting edge technologies to identify emergent online climate misinformation. By providing best practice advice, we help climate organisations reach people with compelling creative that debunks misinformation and creates support for climate action.

As COP26 started we already had over 30 members including the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at the LSE, Friends of the Earth, ECIU and The Climate Coalition.

Working in collaboration with the awesome ISD COP26 war room, we’ve been writing daily bulletins for ACT members. We’ve highlighted the threats and issued guidance on how to act in the face of a huge wave of misinformation around the conference.

The Media Bounty team have moved mountains to deliver all this incredible work over the last few months. These are big projects that have individually had a big impact. But all together, we hope that we have made a contribution to meaningful climate action at COP26.