Climate Change TV Ad Under Investigation for Scaring Kids (VIDEO)

climate change tv ad image

Photo via the Daily Mail

The premise is simple enough: it's a British TV ad designed to get adults' attention and to highlight the importance of acting to stop climate change. It shows a father reading a bedtime story about global warming to his daughter. The story comes to life, showing starving, crying cartoon bunny rabbits and drowning dogs--and the daughter is terrified. The ad is now under investigation by watchdog groups, who've received hundreds of complaints that it's scaring children. Watch the ad after the jump.The goal of the ad, as the BBC notes, is to make adults feel guilty about the "impact their carbon emissions is having on their children's future," and to promote the government's carbon reduction initiative. But this ad might not be the best endorsement:

The ad, which cost 6 million pounds (9.45 million USD), was created by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and was intended for adult audiences. It's not being shown during children's programming, but the complaints are pouring in nonetheless. And while many claim that it's because the ad is scaring children, others complain that the science behind whether global warming is man-made is unproven.

While the DECC stands by the message the TV ad portrays, the situation nonetheless raises some questions about how best to communicate climate issues to the public. Is instilling fear of climate change the most productive way to promote awareness? Or do people simply not listen unless the message is frightening?

The ad will continue to run in the UK, unless the Advertising Standards Authority deems it inappropriate and bans it altogether.

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