Over 450 scientists, along with environmental activist organisation Clean Creatives, are urging PR and ad agencies to drop their fossil fuel clients.
The letter, uploaded online, will be sent to firms including Edelman, and holding companies such as WPP and Interpublic Group, including its “sustainability-focused” clients such as Amazon, Unilever, The North Face, and Microsoft.
According to the letter, it is a major challenge to develop meaningful action that can overcome advertising and PR efforts by fossil-fuel companies that “seek to obfuscate or downplay our data at the risk posed by the climate crisis”.
It also said that misinformation campaigns represent one of the biggest barriers to government action and that science shows it is necessary to mitigate the ongoing climate emergency.
Scientists claim that their findings are clear and that we must eliminate carbon pollution as soon as possible – nearly 50 per cent by the end of the decade and 100 per cent by 2050. This action requires a rapid transition from fossil fuel, and coal, oil, gas, and electric companies must begin to transition to zero-carbon immediately.
”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,” the letter states.
It followed Edelman announcing it had not yet dropped any of its fossil fuel clients, including ExxonMobile and Shell, following a 60-day review of its portfolio as part of its climate strategy.
Edelman stated at the time that the “extensive internal evaluation has highlighted areas where our principles will change the type of the work and projects we take on in the future”.