Over 450 Scientists Call on PR and Advertising Agencies to Ditch Fossil Fuel Clients


SOURCE: BRANDINGINASIA.COM
JAN 21, 2022

In an effort to fight the ongoing effects of climate change, a group of more than 450 scientists has signed an open letter to PR and advertising agencies calling on them to stop working with clients that profit from fossil fuels.

The letter, which was released by Clean Creatives and the Union of Concerned Scientists, challenges PR and ad agencies to “drop all fossil fuel clients that plan to expand their production of oil and gas, end work with all fossil fuel companies and trade groups that perpetuate climate deception.”

The letter cites a 2021 scholarly article “The role of public relations firms in climate change politics” written by Robert J. Brulle & Carter Werthman that provides “an exploratory overview of the extent and nature of involvement of PR firms in climate political action by organizations in five sectors: Coal/Steel/Rail, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Renewable Energy, and the Environmental Movement.”

The letter comes just after Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, announced that it will focus on working with clients that are committed to sustainability.

“As scientists who study and communicate the realities of climate change, we are consistently faced with a major and needless challenge: overcoming advertising and PR efforts by fossil fuel companies that seek to obfuscate or downplay our data and the risks posed by the climate crisis. In fact, these misinformation campaigns represent one of the biggest barriers to the government action science shows is necessary to mitigate the ongoing climate emergency.

The science could not be more clear: We must eliminate carbon pollution as soon as possible — nearly 50% this decade, and fully by 2050. That requires an immediate and rapid transition away from all fossil fuels. Coal, oil, gas, and electricity companies must immediately, unreservedly, begin a transition to a zero-carbon future.

If PR and advertising agencies want to be part of climate solutions instead of continuing to exacerbate the climate emergency, they should drop all fossil fuel clients that plan to expand their production of oil and gas, end work with all fossil fuel companies and trade groups that perpetuate climate deception, cease all work that hinders climate legislation, and instead focus on uplifting the true climate solutions that are already available and must be rapidly implemented at scale.

To put it simply, advertising and public relations campaigns for fossil fuels must stop.”