Industry leaders put out the word—working with fossil fuel clients must stop today to secure a clean tomorrow.
Clean Creatives are putting out an ambitious open letter written and signed by the creative leaders of today, the letter actively calls on Advertising and Public Relations agencies to take a stand for our world by refusing to work with fossil fuel clients.
At R&G we believe wholeheartedly that burning fossil fuels is not the future, and we’re willing to pledge our services—and our purpose—to realizing a just transition away from a fossil fuel-based economy.
We’re proud co-signers of this letter, and we challenge you to sign as well.
“We’re inspired to see others within the Communications, Advertising and PR industries begin to follow our lead and share a common purpose to make a positive impact through our work. We have a duty of care to consider how our skills are being leveraged, and to ensure it’s in service to a cleaner future. We have it within our power to echo or amplify voices across sectors and industries—it’s time to choose the ones calling for progress and change.”
– Sarah Riley, Co-Founder – R&G Strategic
Read the letter below and commit your company to the pledge by signing the letter here.
An Open Letter from the Advertising and PR Leaders of Tomorrow:
You had a future, and so should we.
We are tomorrow’s leaders of advertising, PR, and the rest of the marketing industry. We are creators, strategists, dreamers, and doers. We are current students, recent grads, interns, junior creatives, and rising stars.
The biggest threat to our future is climate change. The world’s twenty biggest polluters are fossil fuel companies, with the entire energy sector responsible for creating 75% of carbon emissions. They are blocking necessary and urgently needed climate action.
And our industry is helping them do it.
We’re angry. We’re afraid. And we refuse to sit back and watch it happen.
We, tomorrow’s leaders, call on all agencies, from the holding companies to the independent shops, to stop working with fossil fuel clients. This means oil giants as well as the alphabet soup of trade associations and front groups.
No more marketing climate denial and disinformation.
No more setting up fake front groups.
No more amplifying lies about how action will hurt the economy.
No more greenwashing oil, gas, and coal companies, aiding them in their attempts to dodge pollution safeguards and block meaningful change.
We won’t be able to reduce, reuse, recycle our way out of tomorrow’s catastrophe — because it is already happening today. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the devastating impacts of climate-related disasters, like record-breaking wildfires, droughts, heatwaves, and hurricanes. Bold action is needed, at all levels and segments of society. The time has come for our industry to do its part.
Founders, agency heads, and leadership teams must take a stand and say no more. We know this won’t be easy for everyone. But since when has a winning firm shrank from a challenging brief? We don’t care if you do it for the right reasons, or because you want to be quoted in the NYT or Adweek. Or even because you want a competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting us.
We, tomorrow’s leaders, want to starve the fossil fuel industry of the best minds — the minds we hope to learn from — and the best marketing that money can buy, from the best agencies in the world.
We want to avoid having to make the impossible choice between working on a client that is actively and negatively impacting our future, and turning down a chance to break into a competitive industry.
You had a future, and so should we.
We call on everyone else in advertising too: the directors and the CDs and the supes and the mids and the brand new junior creatives. Challenge your leadership. Agitate for change. Advocate for yourselves and the generations to come. Internal pressure may achieve what public pressure can not.
And, if your circumstances don’t allow you to step forward, do what you can. Ask to switch to non-fossil fuel clients. Turn down fossil fuel projects. Sign the Clean Creatives pledge. Raise the consideration within your team, or even just yourself, that you have the option to reject work that is killing you and everyone you know.
Greta Thunberg got it right: “The world is waking up. And change is coming.” This is your chance to lead that change. You had a future. You can make sure we have one, too.