Friends of the Earth targets Apple and Samsung

Friends of the Earth is targeting Apple and Samsung stores with a ‘digital graffiti’ campaign as part of its ongoing efforts to lobby technology manufacturers over tin mining practices in Indonesia.

Friends of the Earth Make it Better
Friends of the Earth Make it Better

The augmented reality campaign uses geo-location tools to target smartphone users near 12 Apple and Samsung stores in the UK.

People using the Aurasma AR app over store fronts will see a speech bubble appear on a green background, asking “Is my phone trashing tropical forests?” on their smartphone screen.

It also includes a short film outlining the environmental harm the charity claims is caused by mining for tin, an essential component in electrical devices.

Users can also click through to a website where they can email Apple and Samsung directly to ask if they use tin mined in Indonesia. Friends of the Earth claims Apple and Samsung have so far “refused to say” whether their products contain tin mined in the region.

The lobbying organisation says it us using “digital guerrilla activism” and social media to reach new audiences and publicise its messages. It hopes using an augmented reality campaign will help more tech savvy consumers become aware of the issue and get involved in the campaign.

Andrew Pendleton head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth says: “Millions of us love our smartphones and couldn’t do without them – we want to be able to love the way they’re made too. We’ll be keeping the pressure on these technology leaders in every dimension until they come clean about their supply chains and commit to better processes to protect people and the environment.”

A Samsung spokesperson says: “Samsung Electronics takes the issue of ethical sourcing of minerals very seriously. We strongly support the ban on conflict minerals, including tin, tantalum/coltan, tungsten and gold, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s efforts to monitor the source and chain of custody of minerals used in manufacturing.

“Samsung is committed to upholding the highest standards of corporate responsibility, and we continue to evaluate our sourcing policies to ensure they comply with global standards associated with our industry.”

The tech firm says it is “monitoring” the situation in Indonesia to determine if an investigation into whether tin in its supply chain is sourced from the region is required.

Friends of the Earth launched Make It Better in November to lobby governments to implement new laws that would force tech firms to reveal information about their supply chains.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here