Allison PR vows not to work with fossil fuel industry

The Stagwell firm is the largest agency to sign anti-fossil fuel industry group Clean Creatives’ pledge.

Allison PR vows not to work with fossil fuel industry

Allison PR, formerly known as Allison+Partners, has signed a Clean Creatives pledge committing to decline future contracts with the fossil fuel industry. 

With over 1,000 employees across more than 50 markets including China, Singapore, Korea, Japan, India and Australia, Allison is the largest agency to sign Clean Creatives’ pledge, Duncan Meisel, executive director of the organisation, confirmed.

Anne Colaiacovo, global partner and president of North America at Allison, said the move was the “natural next step” based on the agency’s “long history of values-led leadership,” referencing partnerships with clients such as eco-friendly household products brand Seventh Generation. 

“This step allows us to be the best partner we can be to our clients, employees and communities. It reinforces our commitment to a brighter future,” Colaiacovo said, adding that the agency had not previously worked with any oil and gas companies. 

Allison’s decision follows last week’s Climate Week event in New York, where business leaders convened to discuss ambitious plans to tackle climate change, and companies and their partners were called on to live up to their climate commitments with concrete action. 

“We’re feeling the physical effects of the climate crisis like never before. It’s at our front doorstep,” said Whitney Dailey, Allison EVP of purpose and leader of the agency’s Purpose Center of Excellence. “We felt like it was time to double down, [and that] there was no time to waste.”

The firm's decision also comes as others in the industry navigate their way through similar challenges, with pressure to decline work from fossil fuel clients growing.

Havas faced backlash last week following the announcement of their win of the competitive bid for Shell's media account taking over from WPP's GroupM, which held the account since 2005. Havas' London and New York offices are both B Corp-certified, requiring them to adhere to high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Havas Immerse, part of Havas Group, became the first creative agency in Malaysia to achieve a B Corp certification from B Lab last August. 

The news attracted stark criticism from climate campaigners like Comms Declare’s Belinda Noble and the aforementioned Clean Creatives’ Duncan Meisel.

In a statement to Campaign last week, Meisel said: “Prior to this contract, it looked like Havas was on track to reduce its involvement with fossil fuel polluters. Taking on Shell’s media contract is a huge step backward and does real damage to Havas’ work to distinguish itself as a sustainability and purpose leader in the ad industry.”  

Please note: This article first appeared in PR Week US, and has been edited for clarity and brevity.


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