Television Advertising Adds to Global Warming Woes!

by Hannah Punitha on Jul 25 2008 3:04 PM

Audit figures have revealed that television advertising can produce a large amount of carbon dioxide.

According to a report carried out in, this fact was revealed by audit figures from pitch consultants TrinityP3, who estimated that Australian television advertising is producing as much as 57 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hour, with thirty second ad breaks being among the worst offenders.

Carbon emissions are particularly strong during high-rating programs such as the final episodes of the Ten Network’s Biggest Loser, which produced 2135kgs per 30-second ad, So You Think You Can Dance at 2061 kg for every 30 seconds, closely followed by the Seven News 6pm news at 1689 kg and Border Security at 1802 kg.

According to TrinityP3 managing director Darren Woolley, emissions are calculated by measuring a broadcasters’ power consumption and that of a consumer watching an ad on television in their home.

"We look at the number of households and the number of TVs, and then the proportion of TVs that are plasma, LCD or traditional, and calculate energy consumption based on those factors," he said.

TrinityP3 is formalising a standard carbon footprint measurement of advertising, which it claims will be the first of its kind.

"Most companies have been obliged to think through their strategies on reducing carbon emissions and they need to remember that their marketing strategies do have an environmental impact that needs to be included. This is not something that is easily able to be measured," said Woolley.

"Reality television is interesting as the more viewers and voters that tune in, the higher the carbon footprint. The more people vote, the more it adds to the CO2 in the atmosphere," he explained.

According to Woolley, "When Big Brother launched in Australia in 2001, advertising in the program contributed over 1200kg of CO2 into the environment. By series eight this year, the decreasing number of viewers decreased its carbon footprint by 50%."

"However, the Biggest Loser is the biggest loser on the environment with a massive 57 tonnes of CO2 per hour produced by the advertising that ran during the final," he said.