Oatly offers free ad space to dairy companies willing to put climate-footprint data on their labels

The offer of billboard, print and radio ads is part of the brand’s campaign for mandatory climate labels in the U.K.

Published On
Oct 18, 2023
Oatly billboard promising free ad space to dairy companies

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Oatly is once again using creative advertising to deliver an unexpectedly compelling brand message, this time around climate goals—by offering free billboard, print and radio advertising to any dairy company that follows Oatly’s lead in printing their climate-footprint data on labels.

Billboards have gone up in London, Berlin and Manchester. Cleverly divided in two, they challenge the dairy industry to be more transparent about the effects of their business on the planet—and offer the ad space as an incentive. (Yes, it a bit disingenuous, but that mild snark—backed by genuine purpose—is what makes the idea break through.)

A new section of Oatly U.K.’s website, crafted almost like an infomercial offer, explains more, including the print and radio advertising on offer. Oatly is also asking a rep for big dairy to join its upcoming Reddit AMA about climate footprint labels.

Oatly print ad offering free advertising space to dairy companies

The campaign reinforces Oatly’s general efforts to make climate labels mandatory in the U.K. The site includes a downloadable “grey paper” that includes the following statement (along with much more):

“Oatly is proud to be a vocal, campaigning business and brand that is passionate about environmental and social causes. We make no apologies there. But the argument for more transparent, accurate climate impact data—accessible on pack to U.K. consumers—is not a ‘woke’ one. This is not a culture war skirmish. It is science. The fact is our food system—how we produce, buy, consume and waste food and drink—generates one third of the U.K.’s entire greenhouse gas emissions. The science is clear: reducing the climate footprint of that overall system, at both the production and consumption level, is vital not just to the country’s decarbonization and net-zero efforts but also to the long-term wellbeing of its people and our planet.”

Here’s more from the grey paper:

A page from Oatly's "grey paper"

“Once products are on the shelves, it is always the consumer’s choice whether to buy them,” Oatly said. “But we believe that people should be able to make this decision based not only on the information that is currently required by law—e.g., calories; fat, sugar, salt content; ingredients; country of origin; best-before dates—but also on a product’s climate footprint. That choice should be theirs; and it should be possible. At the moment, that choice is not available to consumers because that information is not adequately available.”

Oatly billboard offering free advertising space to dairy companies

Oatly billboard in Germany offering free advertising space to dairy companies