Advertising agencies’ work promoting the fossil fuel industry could open them to legal liability, a new report from Clean Creatives says. The amount of climate-related litigation has risen dramatically in recent years, and lawsuits related to fossil fuel advertising especially so. Multiple states and municipalities have taken legal action to hold oil companies and their industry groups accountable for fraudulently misleading the public over the climate-heating impacts of their products.
Public relations and advertising agencies are not protected from liability for actions taken in the representation of their clients as lawyers are. “We are still in the earliest stages of what is going to be years, if not decades, of litigation against these companies,” Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law, told AdWeek. “As our understanding of the gravity of climate impacts grows, the risks of being on the wrong side of history here, I think are really profound.” (AdWeek)