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Public Relations

Week Of Protests Over Equinor’s Media Sponsorship Greenwashing

Major media companies have sparked a wave of criticism after allowing a Norwegian oil and gas company behind the UK’s largest new North Sea project to sponsor events on climate change. Equinor was an official sponsor of two conferences on climate and energy this week, one run by the New Statesman magazine, and one run by Politico. Both saw MPs pull out over the sponsorship, while the first was interrupted by a climate activist. The Norwegian state-owned company has a majority stake in the Rosebank North Sea oil field, which has been dubbed a “carbon bomb” by environmental law charity ClientEarth.

Ad And PR Industry Directors Have Ties To Heavily Polluting Industries

Half of the board members at the world’s six largest advertising and public relations companies have ties to polluting industries, DeSmog can reveal. Of the 64 total board members at Omnicom Group, WPP, Interpublic Group (IPG), Publicis Groupe, Dentsu and Havas, 32 have significant experience in carbon-heavy sectors such as fossil fuels, fossil fuel financing, plastics, utilities, and aviation. Twenty-two are still serving in roles at such companies. With combined revenues of $67 billion in 2022, the six firms dominate the communications industry, and have hundreds of subsidiary agencies around the world. Of the 64 total board members at Omnicom Group, WPP, Interpublic Group (IPG), Publicis Groupe, Dentsu and Havas, 32 have significant experience in carbon-heavy sectors such as fossil fuels, fossil fuel financing, plastics, utilities, and aviation. Twenty-two are still serving in roles at such companies.

Havas London Targeted By Climate Activists Over Relationship With Shell

For the second time in four months, climate activists have gathered at the headquarters of Havas London to protest the ad agency’s relationship with Shell. According to the group, Extinction Rebellion or XR, Thursday’s protest was spurred by a whistleblower’s tip-off that Havas would be meeting with Shell to discuss new work for the fossil fuel giant. The trade publication Campaign recently reported that Shell’s global PR account is up for review this quarter. Caroline from Scientists for XR said that the group received a positive reception from Havas employees, “who are by and large young creatives.”

A Closer Look At The Public Relations Companies Active At COP28

There’s only a few days to go before Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the first oil executive to preside over UN climate negotiations, brings down his gavel in Dubai. While COP28 delegates have been wrangling over the wording of the all-important text, DeSmog has been tracking an overlooked factor in climate diplomacy: the role of the advertising and public relations (PR) industry in shaping perceptions of key players. Since being designated COP president in January, Al Jaber, who heads Abu Dhabi’s national oil company, has cycled through a dozen or so American PR companies, according to filings with the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ).

WPP Has More Fossil Fuel Clients Than Any Other Advertising Company

Global advertising and public relations company WPP has more contracts with fossil fuel clients than any of its rivals, despite the group’s pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2030, according to a report by campaign group Clean Creatives.  The UK-based company topped the annual ‘F-List’ documenting the creative and public relations industry’s work for polluting industries, with 55 fossil fuel contracts. Omnicom followed with 39 contracts; Interpublic Group had 25; and Publicis Groupe had 11. These four companies dominate the communications industry; owning hundreds of subsidiaries around the world, and generating combined revenues of $56 billion in 2022.

BBC Under Fire For Doing Pesticide Giant’s Public Relations

The BBC has been accused of “selling the public’s trust” by producing “totally biased” documentaries on the future of sustainable food sponsored by Corteva, one of the world’s largest pesticide firms, potentially in breach of the broadcaster’s editorial guidelines. The “Follow the Food” documentaries, which featured a total of 28 episodes over three series, showcase “solutions” to climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, and food security in the farming sector. Sustainable farming advocates have criticised the content for favouring industrial agriculture, which is heavily dependent on chemical pesticides and fertilisers.

How Kroger Is Using DC Spin Doctors To Fight Their Unionized Workers

In recent weeks, Kroger has faced a rash of negative news reports about its employees’ working and living conditions, drawn new scrutiny from lawmakers, and seen thousands of workers go on strike in Colorado — all as the company lobbies on union rights legislation, and bankrolls corporate trade associations trying to kill it. Now amid the potential for congressional hearings and a federal crackdown, the grocery giant did what so many other corporate behemoths do when they’re feeling the heat: pay big bucks to run counter programming claiming it offers “great pay and great benefits” in a Beltway tip sheet read by Washington insiders. The DC tip sheet industry, which includes daily email newsletters like Politico Playbook, Axios AM, and Punchbowl News, may seem obscure, but it serves a special purpose in media.
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