Friends of Science Society’s Controversial Billboard Theme Takes Gold for Climate Change Ad Copy in International Marcom Contest

Friends of Science Society is celebrating their gold win for climate change advertising copy in the MarCom Awards for the print ad “There’s no 97% consensus. They’re fooling you.”


The dynamic print ad features a glorious solar flare contrasted by a tiny blue dot Earth, along with the theme “The sun drives climate change. Not you. Not CO2.” This image is framed by a right-side copy block stating, “97% consensus on global warming? NO. No consensus. Not even close. They’re fooling you.” The ad was designed by Calgary Herald design team; the award-winning ad copy was developed by Friends of Science Society’s Communications Team.

Described as one of the biggest contests of its kind in the world, featuring some 6,000 entries, the MarCom Awards’ list of winners “shows a range in size from individuals to media conglomerates and Fortune 50 companies.”

“We published this ad to coincide with the release of our report ‘97% Consensus? NO! Global Warming Math Myths and Social Proofs,'” says Michelle Stirling, Communications Manager for Friends of Science Society. “Sadly, people and policy-makers are being fooled by the claim there’s a 97% consensus on climate change. It’s nice to see the advertising world understands this claim is just a social proof.” [Report:]

The ads became billboards and Friends of Science Society have developed a number of short, smart billboard themes that clearly get a message across.

Recently, a Canadian charity – Ecojustice Canada Society Рhas tried to take Friends of Science to the Competition Bureau of Canada as reported by The Rebel Media on Dec. 08, 2015

On Dec. 9, 2015, the Calgary Herald editorial board spoke out against this effort and in support of Friends of Science right to freedom of speech in advertising.

In response to the public complaint, Friends of Science have appealed to Canadian human rights activist and author, Margaret Atwood, Vice President of PEN International, in an open letter published on their blog Dec. 10, 2015.    

“It seems our message is stimulating discussion and that’s what we wanted,” says Stirling. “We’re in favor of open and civil debate. People see our ads and billboards and they know it is permitted challenge the dogma on climate change.”

Friends of Science Society says the sun is the main direct and indirect driver of climate change. Their most recent billboard states: “Science is about inquiry, not compliance.”