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Home » PR and ad firms urged to stop working for oil and gas companies

Agencies exposed to growing legal risks for work for fossil fuel clients

PR and ad firms urged to stop working for oil and gas companies

by | Jan 23, 2022

More than 450 scientists have called on public relations and advertising firms, including Edelman which has a significant D.C. presence, to stop working for oil and gas companies. According to The Washington Post, the firms’ ad campaigns for these companies, the scientists said, “represent one of the biggest barriers to the government action science shows is necessary to mitigate the ongoing climate emergency.” A group of 100 activists and former Edelman employees partnered with Clean Creatives, a campaign pressuring PR and ad agencies to quit fossil fuels, to issue the same demand.

“The question for the PR and ad business is whether this emboldened coalition of academics and advocates can turn fossil fuel companies into social pariahs — a sort of New Tobacco.”

“PR and ad firms are part of a web of influence, including law firms, lobbying organizations and think tanks,” said Christine Arena, who worked briefly for Edelman and later founded a small business called Generous Films. “They are all charged with maintaining the fossil fuel industry’s ability to operate.”

Edelman is following its own PR strategy, continues The Post, when “it concluded a two-month study of its climate principles and scrutinized more than 330 of its 2,000 clients, including conducting “a deep dive” on 20 whose emissions are particularly large. That group includes ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), according to the Clean Creatives activist campaign. So far, however, Edelman has not severed ties with any clients.”

(Edelman has announced that it will “part ways with clients” that don’t adhere to its new environmental, social and governance guidelines (ESG), following what was described as a review of over 330 clients conducted in response to pressure from climate activists.)

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Capitol Communicator

Capitol Communicator is a unique online and offline resource for Mid-Atlantic advertising, marketing, public relations, digital and media communications professionals. The e-magazine, e-newsletters and events bring together communications professionals, fostering community and providing important information; news; trends; education; and opportunities for networking, career enhancement, business exchange and showcasing great work. Visit www.capitolcommunicator.com to learn more.

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