More than 450 scientists called on public relations giant Edelman to stop working for oil and gas companies in a letter released Wednesday. “Advertising and PR efforts by fossil fuel companies … seek to obfuscate” the scientific reality of, and risks posed by, climate change,” the scientists wrote. “These misinformation campaigns represent one of the biggest barriers to the government action science shows is necessary to mitigate the ongoing climate emergency.” Research has shown top PR firms have played a significant role in denying and obfuscating the science of climate change while bolstering the reputations of major polluters.
Edelman’s work for fossil fuel companies is akin to shilling for Big Tobacco, according to a concurrent coalition of activists and former Edelman employees. “I do believe that extractive industry is going the way of tobacco, and for that same reason any [ad] agency who either claims ‘purpose’ or dabbles in sustainability will have to stop working with them,” Henk Carpenter, who quit working for Edelman over its work for API told the Washington Post. “Like CVS did — you can’t sell tobacco and medicine at the same time.” (Washington Post $, Reuters)