· 3 min read
Get marketing news you'll actually want to read
Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.
After a record hot and smoky summer, it’s finally starting to cool down in New York City. But that doesn’t mean climate activists are turning down the heat.
Clean Creatives released its third annual “F-List” with an accompanying ad campaign in NYC on Tuesday, calling out the agencies that work with fossil fuel companies and are thus contributing to the climate crisis.
Report card’s in: According to this year’s findings, WPP has the most fossil fuel contracts of any holding company—55—followed by Omnicom with 39. Stagwell was the only holding company with no fossil fuel contracts, according to the report.
Ogilvy topped the list of holding company agencies with the most contracts, amounting to at least seven, including BP and the American Petroleum Institute. Marketing Brew reached out to WPP, Omnicom, and Ogilvy for comment, but hadn’t heard back by the time of publication.
According to Nayantara Dutta, research director at Clean Creatives, 296 agencies held more than 500 oil and gas company contracts in 45 countries between 2022 and 2023.
“This shows that, despite agencies’ net zero promises and sustainability pledges, they continue to promote the oil and gas industry,” she said. “We share our data publicly to encourage transparency so that creatives at agencies can learn who they are actually working for and have the tools to take action.”
Read it and weep act: As Climate Week takes place this week in New York, Clean Creatives put up posters aimed at Edelman, Ogilvy, McCann, and Publicis Groupe employees in places like SoHo and Midtown, where many agencies are based.
“We chose to speak directly to the New Yorkers at these four agencies because we think they represent iconic brands with important cultural and business footprints in New York,” Duncan Meisel, executive director of Clean Creatives, told Marketing Brew. “If agencies like Edelman, McCann, Ogilvy, and Publicis dropped their fossil fuel clients, it would create a sea-change in how the industry operates around the issue of climate change.”
Each poster lists the agencies’ fossil-fuel clients and links their work to environmental emergencies, like the wildfires that gave the city an orange cast this summer, which are pictured in the background. They all end with the same line: “It’s not your fault. But you can fix it, and we can support you.”
According to Clean Creatives, more than 700 agencies in 38 countries, like Gale and Forsman & Bodenfors, have pledged to not work with fossil fuel corporations, as have more than 1,700 creatives.