What is the carbon footprint of online Super Bowl ads? There are way too many climate news reporters if they take the time and the GHG emissions to report on such a silly story.
Bloomberg (2/1/23) reports: “On Sunday, millions of people will tune into the Super Bowl and watch the game’s commercials. Then they’ll look down at their phones to see, most likely, even more commercials. America’s favorite sporting event is a frenzied zenith for the nation’s advertising industry, which uses the weekend to bombard attentive consumers with messages on TVs and online. And every internet ad requires an unseen amount of energy to run — a footprint that, until recently, has not been properly measured. ‘It’s never talked about,’ says Amy Williams, an advertising veteran who runs Good-Loop, a London-based media firm. ‘It’s not like chopping down a tree. You can’t see it or feel it. So it’s really easy to ignore.’ Good-Loop is one of a handful of companies trying to track, and reduce, the greenhouse gas emissions of the online ad complex. Part of the difficulty is the way the wider market works. Unlike pricey Super Bowl spots, which are bought in handshake deals months in advance, digital billboards are typically sold in automated, rapid-fire auctions that often involve dozens of different web companies for every transaction. Each of those fires up an untold number of power-hungry computer servers for every ad.”