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Under "Growing Public Pressure," Edelman PR Splits with the American Petroleum Institute

1 min. read

What is the likelihood that the following happened because the largest public relations firm in the world (Edelman) suddenly saw the light regarding its deep, extensive ties -- more than $327 million for 2008-2012 alone -- with the American Petroleum Institute (API), trade association for the oil industry? Or, more likely, perhaps it had to do with the bolded parts below?

The lucrative relationship was not without costs. Over the past year, Edelman came under growing public pressure for its ties to fossil fuel companies and industry groups which have promoted misinformation about climate change.

Last year, Edelman was caught out when other major public relations firms announced they would no longer work for climate deniers, in response to a Guardian report.

Edelman later scrambled to catch up with the new industry standard and declared it too would not represent climate deniers.

The company also faced scrutiny for advising TransCanada pipeline company to run a “perpetual campaign” against opponents of a pipeline project across eastern Canada. TransCanada later announced it had dropped Edelman.

Such hardball tactics – and the accusations of climate denial – put Edelman in an uncomfortable position with some of its other clients, according to Kert Davies of the Climate Investigations Center.

API does not explicitly deny climate change, but its website suggests – incorrectly – that there is some doubt whether burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet.

Based on this, our guess is that Edelman - a competitor of Tigercomm, which focuses its efforts on promoting the cleantech industry - didn't split with API out of the goodness of its heart, but due to the fact that it got embarrassed representing one of the world's biggest polluting industries.

Topics: Marketing & Communications