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The Federal Government's latest greenwashing campaign, 'positive energy', puts lots of positive spin on fossil hydrogen.

So who created it? Nobody wants to own up. 

This week we're fired up about

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Belinda Noble
Support Climate Communications

You can guess an election is coming when the federal government starts spending a lot of money telling us what a great job it is doing in the name of 'public information'.

With the government also at pains to show its green credentials ahead of COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, and leave behind the furore over allowing the renewable energy agency, ARENA, to fund fossil fuels, the 'Positive Energy' campaign makes even more sense - at least politically.

The campaign was launched by Minister for Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, and comprised a press release, a campaign microsite, and ads across TV, out of home, cinema, press, radio and digital.

So who produced this campaign?

Here's the list of agencies that are providing advertising services for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources this year, according to The value of these tenders alone is over $20 million.

  • Embrace Society
  • Cox Inall Ridgeway Pty Ltd   
  • Horizon Communication Group Pty Limited   
  • The Monkeys Pty Ltd  

And here are the agencies that are approved to work on federal government campaigns above $500k

  • 33 Creative
  • Carbon Creative
  • Clemenger BBDO (Melbourne)
  • Cox Inall Change
  • Cox Inall Ridgeway
  • Cultural Perspectives
  • CultureVerse
  • Embrace Society
  • Fenton Strategic Communications
  • Fifty-Five Five
  • Horizon Communication Group
  • Ipsos Public Affairs
  • Kantar Public Australia
  • Ogilvy Australia
  • ORIMA Research
  • TBWA Melbourne
  • The Monkeys
  • Think HQ
  • Whereto Research Based Consulting

I've looked at the websites of all these companies and none have the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources listed as a client and none mention the Positive Energy campaign.

The reluctance is probably not surprising, given the similarity of the campaign to Origin Energy's 'Good Energy', created by TBWA Melbourne in 2018. That campaign was the subject of a complaint to Ad Standards.

The Positive Energy website is also the subject of a complaint to Ad Standards by Comms Declare.

For the media, the campaign included an 'announceable' - an additional $150 million for 'Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs' in seven regional locations.

Problem is that clean hydrogen isn't actually a thing. So, who fell for it anyway?

Shane Wright in Nine Newspapers managed to dodge the term "clean hydrogen". Full marks.

PV magazine echoed the spin but, thankfully, clarified later (below).

While the Examiner was completely sucked in.

Sadly, our own government department uses this terminology. 

The CSIRO has used it even while admitting it is not an actual type of hydrogen. 

BTS for promoting climate hope at the United National and breaking viewing records. The live stream of the K-pop band received more than 1 million views and YouTube clips have more than 25 million and climbing. (The UN Secretary General has less than 5,000 views)

2. New York late night talk shows, including Jimmy Fallon, for hosting a joint climate night as part of New York's Climate Week, and making the issue funny and accessible. 

3. Jimmy Kimmel for this excellent take down of ConocoPhillips.

4. Clean Creatives and Comms Declare for gathering the largest list ever on ad and PR agencies helping fossil fuel companies - dubbed 'the F-list'.

5. Solitaire Townsend for writing that none of the 90 agencies on the F-list properly disclose their client list.
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An initiative of Comms Declare

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