Greenwashing Fossil Fuelling Slides

HSBC bank, Britain's biggest lender, gets pulled up by the advertising watchdog for billboard ads in the run-up to October 21's COP26.

The pair of misleading claims now banned being part of their 'climate changes doesn’t do borders' campaign.

What struck me, beyond the obvious deception, was the juxtaposition between the heft of their messages and the near-banality of accompanying imagery.

As you can see from the regulator's page linked to above, one poster featured an aerial image of waves crashing on a shore, the other tree growth rings (as seen in tweet up-top).

In greyed monotones, almost unnoticeable at first glance, neither striking nor much beyond vanilla bland stock pics.

This thinking surely deliberate.

The bolder the message of your slide, the less you need a stunning, technicolour piece of photography behind it.

The first pitch involved the provision of a trillion dollars. The second, the planting of two million trees.

Both huge numbers. Big aims.

Sometimes such large statements can seem unreal.

Perhaps another reason to let the text do the talking, rather than possible distraction of glossy imagery.

We too may well have vast amounts we're proud of. Keen to share on a presentation.

Many solution sell benefits can be intangible. Productivity uplifts, cost savings, topline contributors. Yet even the most hidden could well have a simple 'scape' to help discreetly represent them behind the words. Especially if we've taken the photo.

So long as ours are accurate - unlike here with the world's third largest non-state owned bank, omitting material information and therefore found to mislead - then maybe we can take a leaf from their approach and provide a wave of our own.

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