REVEALED: Government agency EECA Energywise spent $500,000 staging a fake climate march, complete with major streets closed in Wellington. This was part of EECA’s $3 million “Gen Less” ad campaign, centred around different versions of two ads.

• The first ad, produced in 2019, presents quotes from historical figures including Winston Churchill, Princess Diana, Martin Luther King Jr, and Anne Frank, edited to sound like calls for climate action

.• The second ad, produced in 2020, features a bearded, pierced narrator walking through a crowd of chanting protesters. Smoke bombs are set off in the background. The narrator urges viewers to buy less, fly less, and drive less. Important Wellington streets were closed for the fake protest, including Featherston St and Hunter St. The absurdity of shutting down streets and hiring fake climate protesters is amplified by the fact the ad was produced shortly after a series of School Strike 4 Climate marches, from which plenty of footage was already available. Instead, EECA disrupted traffic and blew out its own emissions by transporting dozens of actors to a fake protest.

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