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1,000 agencies pledge to refuse work from fossil fuel industry in Clean Creatives campaign

1,000 agencies pledge to refuse work from fossil fuel industry in Clean Creatives campaign

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Clean Creatives, the anti-fossil fuel campaign group for advertising and public relations, has announced that 1,000 agencies worldwide have signed its pledge to refuse work from the fossil fuel industry. 

This milestone marks a doubling of pledges since April 2023, highlighting the campaign's momentum while also pointing to a rapidly rising concern within the creative industries about responsible work in light of global warming.

Significant agency pledges have been received from notable agencies such as Mother New York, Lucky Generals, Allison, and GALE. The United States tops the list of agency signees at 350, with the United Kingdom following close behind at 265. Canada ranks third at 65, with South Africa at 57, Germany at 43, Australia at 36, Netherlands at 30, and Sweden at 20 also making the list.

Don't miss: EU bans misleading sustainability claims to curb greenwashing: Can Asia follow suit?

The types of agencies populating the 1,000 ranks are design (223), creative (201), branding (197), and public relations (183). A combination of digital, strategy, production, web development, consulting agencies, and more complete the list, with 138 of the 1,000 agencies being B-Corp certified.

Clean Creatives also surveyed 95 of its 1,000 signees about their reasons for signing and the impact on their businesses. 

Agencies' top reason for signing the pledge include "alignment with values and mission”, followed by “positive impact on the climate.”

The top positive impact of the pledge on agencies' business was an improvement in employee recruitment and retention. One agency CEO said that the pledge gives its employees confidence in its intent and purpose, and that this is "hugely important" to them, shared Clean Creatives in a statement. 

37% of agencies stated the Clean Creatives pledge positively impacted relationships with existing clients, with no agency reporting any negativity. 

To celebrate this milestone, Clean Creatives released a playful Earth Day campaign video, which features a Rube Goldberg machine – an iconic contraption famous for its use in Honda's "The Cog" advertisement – alongside other references to key ad concepts and cliches.

 The spot ends in a dumpster fire extinguished by a 'clean creative' and calls on top advertising executives to ditch old ideas and embrace being 'the good guys' in the fight against climate change.

The video also shows that since reaching 1,000 pledges, that more have been added, and includes a call-to-action for more agencies to join in on the cause. 

"The Clean Creatives pledge has galvanised a global community of agencies committed to serious climate action, and they are seeing countless benefits in employee engagement, positioning for clients, and alignment for purpose," said Duncan Meisel, executive director, Clean Creatives.

Meisel noted that the agencies who have stepped up to lead on the issue are showing the importance of leadership, in refusing to work with the fossil fuel industry.

In the last three years, Clean Creatives has raised awareness of big oil's attempt to influence the public perception of itself and its products by engaging the world's largest advertising and PR agencies to misinform and greenwash in its messaging. 

The campaign additionally seeks to hold accountable the world's largest advertising and PR companies through its annual F-List, which reveals current contracts between fossil fuel companies and agencies. The report has since challenged such agencies with existing ties to the fossil fuel industry, such as Omnicom Group, WPP, Interpublic Group (IPG), Publicis Groupe, Dentsu, and Havas. 

“We’re incredibly proud to stand with the 1,000 agencies of all sizes disciplines worldwide, and I think we can look forward to many more joining them," concluded Meisel.

Join us this coming 24 - 25 April for #Content360, a two-day extravaganza centered around four core thematic pillars: Explore with AI; Insight-powered strategies; Content as an experience; and Embrace the future. Immerse yourself in learning to curate content with creativity, critical thinking, and confidence with us at Content360!

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