Global report puts Australian agencies on notice for fossil fuel work

A joint global report from Comms Declare and Clean Creatives entitled The F-List 2021: 90 Ad and PR Companies Working for the Fossil Fuel Industry has highlighted Australia as being “uniquely compromised” by agencies lobbying for oil, gas and coal.

The study lists the 90 advertising, marketing and PR firms that have influenced policy decisions that would have cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Comms Declare founder, Belinda Noble said: “Australia is unique because three Prime Ministers have lost their jobs for trying to limit greenhouse gases.

“A lobbying firm helped put a lump of coal into Scott Morrison’s hand in parliament. Now PR and ad companies are helping gas corporations promote and greenwash the so-called ‘gas-fired recovery’.”

Noble said the research found that WPP and Omnicom are the multinationals with the largest influence in the Australian market, with six WPP agencies representing fossil fuel companies, “despite its own pledge to have zero carbon emissions by 2025”, Noble added.

WPP was contacted regarding its agencies working with fossil fuel clients and declined to comment.

Duncan Meisel, director of Clean Creatives said: “Fossil fuel companies are the biggest polluters, the biggest greenwashers, and the biggest opponents of life-saving climate action. There is no room for ad and PR professionals to continue promoting companies that are doing so much damage to our future.”

“The most important step any agency can take to address the climate crisis is to rule out working with fossil fuel companies. We need creatives and communications experts to bring their full energy towards ending this crisis, not extending it.”

In the report, Lobby firm, Statecraft is listed as representing seven fossil fuel clients in Australia, followed by Hawker Britton with four. Gas producer Santos tops the list of clients, employing six agencies in recent years with the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) and Ampol, both with five.

“With corporate giants pumping tens of millions into sponsorships, PR, lobbying and marketing every year, it’s no wonder Australia has no net zero commitment and is playing a wrecking role in international climate negotiations,” Noble added.


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