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Some staff at the PR giant, Edelman, are not happy about it taking fossil fuel money. This week I follow up from my last newsletter about how they want to force change. 

This week we're fired up about:
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Belinda Noble

Australia's largest greenhouse gas polluter, AGL Energy, has done a big PR push as it attempts to reposition itself as a green, innovative energy and telco company.

It plans to put its coal stations into a new entity called 'PrimeCo' and most of its cleaner assets into 'New AGL'. The advantages of 'New AGL' appearing to be clean to customers are outlined in the Investor Day presentation.

"...our brand position would be significantly enhanced by New AGL’s green energy supply and low carbon credentials."

To boost this brand position, AGL has sponsored a TV series. Advancing Australia, hosted by actor Guy Pearce, is a 12 part branding exercise, and slightly cheesy salute to Aussie innovation.

The first episode featured excellent people doing work to reduce ocean plastic, with the actor saying, "We can all be ocean warriors and turn the tide on plastic."

That's true, and important, but the oceans are being damaged a lot more by climate change than plastic straws - something the AGL-sponsored program failed to mention.

The show airs on Channel 10 and was naturally shown with AGL ads - with not a coal station or gas pipe in sight.

And there was a bonus promotion on Studio 10, where audiences heard from AGL's Chief Customer Officer about virtual power plants.

Even the New AGL brand, which aims to be carbon neutral, will be using methane gas. So it's greenhouse gas emissions will be considerable. Meanwhile, PrimeCo will be pumping out coal pollution until 2048. Remember, the IPCC says rich countries need to reach near zero coal-powered electricity by 2030 if we're to have any chance of staying under 1.5 degrees warming. 
After revelations about the global PR giant working for fossil fuel clients and lobbyists, Edelman staff have aired their angst on social platforms.

On professional networking site Fishbowl, 'Account Executive 1' stated, "just left Edelman to work on cleantech and thank goodnessssss.... It's toothless of Edelman to claim a commitment to sustainability and then take oil money."

'Edelman 2' said 'This place sucks".

'Edelman 3' however, wrote an inspiring call to action.

"What would it say if the world's largest PR firm divested from fossil fuels?

"We've taken millions from fossil fuel industry, we still do. This is now hurting our ability to attract talent, it hurts our ability to be authentic when our Purpose or Sustainability teams try to land work, it hurts staff morale, and positions us no different than how the public perceived tobacco's pr firms. It's a hell of a legacy to flirt with"

Edelman 3 suggested collective staff action to "be a force for climate" including a joint letter to management.

We wish Edelman 3 and other ethical staff a fruitful climate revolt and invite them to join 
Comms Declare to help drag their employers into a climate-friendly future.
Support Climate Journalism


What is Big Red Communications doing to our brains?

The agency is a new entry on our Polluter Relations list for helping to promote oil, gas or coal.

Its website states that the brand platforms it creates outperforms the competition using an approach based on 'neuroscience'.

Whatever that approach is, it is being used to help the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) and BHP. 

The CME has major greenhouse gas polluters as members and advocates for reductions in environmental restrictions.

BHP, despite planning to divest its thermal coal assets, just announced it wants to extend the life of one of its thermal coal mines from 2026 to to 2045. 

Please contact us for any tips or suggested changes to our list of agencies.
Gastivists in Europe used April Fools Day to hack bus shelters in 16 cities with some sentiments about methane gas that you can't help but admire. See more of their #adhack on Twitter.
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