Some 450 Global Scientists Urge PR & Ad Agencies To Immediately Drop Fossil Fuel Clients

Some 450 Global Scientists Urge PR & Ad Agencies To Immediately Drop Fossil Fuel Clients

A coalition of top climate scientists have signed a letter calling for all PR and advertising agencies to immediately cease working with fossil-fuel companies.

The letter – released overnight – is signed by 450 scientists from around the world and marks the first time such a large scientific body has convened to address adland’s role in the worsening climate crisis.

The letter says climate scientists are fed up with creative agencies that, “seek to obfuscate or downplay our data, and the risk of the climate emergency.”

“A scientifically sound approach for PR and advertising agencies considering what clients to continue working with leads to only one conclusion: end all relationships with companies that plan to expand their production of oil and gas.”

The letter was drafted by some of the world’s foremost climate experts, including Dr Michael Mann, Dr Kate Marvel, and Dr Katharine Wilkinson.

The group collaborated with Fossil Free Media’s Clean Creatives campaign, who have announced plans to send the letter to top PR and ad agencies including Edelman, WPP, and IPG, as well as their biggest clients including Unilever, Amazon, Microsoft, and North Face.

However, several PR and ad agencies have defended their past and ongoing work with fossil fuel companies, claiming their goal has always been to help clients address the climate crisis.

But the letter’s authors seem unswayed.

“If PR and advertising agencies want to be part of climate solutions instead of continuing to exacerbate the climate emergency, they should… 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.”

The letter follows a peer-reviewed study published in the Climate Change scientific journal last month which listed hundreds of campaigns by PR, advertising, and marketing agencies designed to hinder climate action.

The world’s largest PR firm, Edelman – which was named in the above study – have since completed an internal client review.

However, despite announcing new scientifically guided company principles, Edelman – whose clients include ExxonMobil – stopped short of dropping fossil fuel clients altogether.

“Edelman said that they will use the best available science to evaluate whether they will continue to work with fossil fuel clients,” said Clean Creatives campaign director, Duncan Meisel.

“Well, here are 450 of the world’s best scientists telling firms like Edelman that work needs to cease immediately.

“Edelman wants to confuse the issue, but these climate experts are crystal clear: there are no excuses for continuing to greenwash fossil fuel companies.”

None of the agencies or companies named above have yet commented on the letter.


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