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"We're sorry we got caught," reads a fake advertisement from Volkswagen, alluding to its emissions scandal.
In conjunction with the COP21 Paris climate conference, the activist group Brandalism plastered this fake ad and more than 600 others across Paris to draw attention to the "corporate takeover" of the conference.
"By sponsoring the climate talks, major polluters such as Air France and GDF-Suez-Engie can promote themselves as part of the solution—when actually they are part of the problem," explained Brandalism's Joe Elan.
"We are taking their spaces back because we want to challenge the role advertising plays in promoting unsustainable consumerism," said Elan. "Because the advertising industry force feeds our desires for products created from fossil fuels, they are intimately connected to causing climate change. As is the case with the climate talks and their corporate sponsored events, outdoor advertising ensures that those with the most amount of money are able to ensure that their voices get heard above all else."
Check out some of the other brilliant fake ads here:
The posters—created by more than 80 artists from 19 countries—were installed on Black Friday. The group cited the public's inability to gather publicly in light of the terrorist attacks on Nov. 13 in Paris as part of the reason they decided to go ahead with the project.
"Following the tragic events on Nov. 13 in Paris, the government has chosen to ban the big civil society mobilizations—but big business events can continue," said Elan. "The multinationals responsible for climate change can keep greenwashing their destructive business models, but the communities directly impacted by them are silenced. It's now more important than ever to call out their lies and speak truth to power. We call on people to take to the streets during the COP21 to confront the fossil fuel industry. We cannot leave the climate talks in the hands of politicians and corporate lobbyists who created this mess in the first place."
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