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Let's reverse the trend!

Let’s take the right path. Let’s regulate car advertising.

The challenge

At a time when the climate crisis constitutes one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, we are being bombarded with ads promoting gas and diesel-powered vehicles, particularly SUVs and other light-duty trucks.

Scientists no longer need to prove that advertising has a real influence on our consumer choices. In 2022, more than 4 out of 5 new vehicles sold in Canada were light-duty trucks (including SUVs). Despite the well-known impacts of these large vehicles, there is still a high level of social acceptability.

In response to the climate crisis, the Canadian government has committed to banning the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035 - a measure which will help the country meet its climate targets. But it also has the power and the responsibility to take action to help reduce the social acceptability of gas-powered and oversized vehicles. Better regulating car advertising would be a very effective way to do so.

It's time to reverse the trend on our roads.


79% of car ads promote light-duty trucks

 It's time to change the social norm around gas-powered cars. We must urge our governments to act decisively and bring in regulatory measures to ensure that business practices are compatible with our climate goals. 

Andréanne Brazeau

Climate Policy Analyst

Équiterre’s work

To better regulate car advertising and change the social norm

In 2020, Équiterre published a wide-ranging research project on The rise of light-duty trucks in Canada. The findings from this study exposed the automotive industry’s advertising practices and strategies, provided a better understanding of the regulatory framework within which they operate, and proposed solutions designed to reverse the trend.

Since then, Équiterre has mobilized partners and launched a petition, maintaining pressure in the public arena on this issue to demand tighter regulations on car advertising practices.

To reduce greenwashing and disinformation

Together with a number of partners, Équiterre is pressuring the federal government to put measures in place to stop corporate greenwashing practices by better regulating advertising practices. Équiterre submitted its recommendations during the federal government's consultations on reforming the Competition Act in 2023.

We must demand better regulation of car advertising in Canada

Our impact

Équiterre’s "Reverse the Trend!" mobilization campaign calls on the federal government to reform the Canadian advertising regulatory framework in order to control the impact of car ads and reduce the social acceptability of gas-powered vehicles.

Actually, according to a recent Léger survey commissioned by Équiterre (in French), the majority (58%) of Quebecers are in favour of tighter controls on advertising for light-duty trucks, including SUVs.

  • 17,000 17,000 petition signatures
  • 7 organizations mobilized in the coalition
  • 2 briefs filed
  • 1 report on automobile advertising in Canada

Take action




Équiterre participates in consultations on reforms to the Competition Act

Équiterre submits recommendations (in French) to combat greenwashing during federal government consultations on reforming the Competition Act.


Letter to Minister Champagne regarding the reform of the Competition Act

Équiterre and its partners called on Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to consider the problem of advertising polluting products in its consultation on the reform of the Competition Act.



Collaboration with Le Climatoscope

Working with Équiterre, le Climatoscope published an article (in French) and a video tracing the links between the fight against smoking ads and the battle against automobile advertising.



Petition launched

Équiterre and its partners launched a petition calling for tighter regulations by the federal government on automobile advertising in Canada.


Report publication: The rise of light-duty trucks in Canada

The report brings together eight analyses exploring the causes and consequences of the rise of light-duty trucks in Canada.


Take action!



The campaign is being conducted in partnership with Accès transports viables, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Conseil régional environnement de Montréal, the David Suzuki Foundation, Piétons Québec, Solon and Vivre en Ville.