The PR Is (Also) Settled: Top Public Relations Firms Refuse to Flack for Climate-Change ‘Deniers’
August 4, 2014 - 11:39 am
In what looks like the final nail in the coffin for climate-change denial, some of the world’s most credible professional organizations have just announced they will no longer work with “climate deniers.”
That’s right, ten of the globe’s top public relations firms have declared that they will no longer “frame the debate” from the “sky is NOT falling” perspective.
Along with “the science,” the PR is now settled.
A spokesman for WPP, the world’s largest ad agency and parent of Burson Marsteller and Ogilvy Public Relations, said…
We ensure that our own work complies with local laws, marketing codes and our own code of business conduct. These prevent advertising that is intended to mislead and the denial of climate change would fall into this category.
The announcement fell like a ton of unread news releases on people who had placed their hope for defeating the man-made climate-change narrative upon firms so trustworthy that they’re commonly called “flacks.” These are the companies who have popularized idioms like “is that true, or is it just PR?” These are people whose credibility is exceeded perhaps only by used-car salesmen.
Since climate deniers can’t find a good PR firm these days, they were unlikely to respond to a reporter’s questions, so I didn’t contact them for a reaction to this devastating news.
The British Guardian demonstrated its objectively-journalistic professionalism by teaming up with the DC-based “Climate Investigations Center” (CIC), making follow-up calls to PR firms to pop the question about whether they would refuse work from climate deniers. The Guardian even released an “internal email” from the largest independently-owned PR firm, Edelman…
An initial response to CIC from Edelman inadvertently included an internal email which said: “I don’t believe we are obligated in any way to respond. There are only wrong answers for this guy.”
Edelman eventually did respond, but refused to join the virtuous chorus of information integrity, saying it makes decisions about which clients to serve on a case-by-case basis.
As the Guardian points out, Edelman works for the American Petroleum Institute, and helped to develop the Keystone XL pipeline campaign for the project that would have created thousands of jobs, cut the risk of ocean oil spills and exploding rail cars, as well as reduced our dependence on foreign oil.
Of course, CIC needs no introduction. Formed all the way back in 2014, it’s staffed by at least one man, Executive Director Kent Davies, a former research director at Greenpeace, who has apparently hung his own shingle now, doubtless eager to escape the cubicle Hell of anti-corporate America.