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Brandalism: EV Edition

"Subvertising" group of climate activists call out Toyota, BMW

Just like Big Oil companies before them, electric vehicle makers are being questioned on their legitimacy when it comes to climate commitments.

A Toyota electric vehicle ad parody by the group Brandalism in Brighton, U.K.—Brandalism photo

A group of climate activists with a focus on "greenwashing" campaigns took on big automotive manufacturers this weekend in over 400 public spots across Europe. Their efforts were aimed at Toyota and BMW, whom the group (Brandalism) claims is misleading the public with its climate-friendly-laden ad campaigns for electric vehicles. Brandalism spokespeople say these companies, among others, claim to be supporting clean energy while lobbying for fossil fuels behind the public's back.

Using the Brussels Car Salon show's 100th anniversary as a jumping off point, the group

dispatched its subvertisers in 14 European cities to repaint over 400 corporate ad spaces with parody car adverts. "Toyota, and BMW are using advertising to greenwash their public image whilst lobbying hard against climate regulations," the group said in a YouTube video Wednesday.

"Brandalism is a revolt against the corporate control of our culture and space," reads part of the company's manifesto. "We are an international collective of artists and activists that confront the power of big business and their public relations advertising. Intervening into ad spaces that usually celebrate consumption, Brandalism use ‘subvertising’ as a lens through which we can view the social and environmental justice issues created by late stage capitalism. Our interventions, exhibitions and workshops aim to agitate, educate and facilitate those who want to challenge corporate power."

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