Press ReleaseSustainability

Clean Creatives proudly announces 1,000 pledges from creative agencies to divest from the fossil fuel industry

TEXAS, USA — Clean Creatives, the anti-fossil fuel campaign group for the Advertising and PR Industry, celebrates a milestone of 1,000 agencies worldwide who have signed its pledge to refuse work from the fossil fuel industry this Earth Day.

In the last three years, Clean Creatives has significantly raised awareness of Big Oil’s attempt to influence public perception of itself and its product by engaging the largest advertising and PR agencies to misinform and greenwash. 

Alongside education campaigns, Clean Creatives has a pledge that agencies and individuals can sign as a commitment to refuse to work with fossil fuel polluters. Now at the 1,000 agency mark – a doubling of pledges since April 2023, it showcases the campaign’s momentum and points to a rapidly rising concern within the creative industries about responsible work in light of global warming. The world’s six largest advertising and public relations companies have ties to the fossil fuel industry.

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Significant agency pledges have recently been received from AdAge’s 2020 and 2022 International Agency of the Year Mother New York and Lucky Generals, which have been shortlisted for Campaign’s Agency of the Year for the last five years running. They join large agencies like Allison, with over 1,000 employees across more than 50 markets, and GALE, with a global workforce of over 750.

To celebrate the 1,000 agency milestone, Clean Creatives has produced a satirically playful video aimed at the industry. In it, a Rube Goldberg machine – an iconic contraption famous for its use in Honda‘s “The Cog” advertisement – features alongside other references to key ad concepts and cliches. The spot ends in a dumpster fire extinguished by a Clean Creative and calls on ad execs to ditch old ideas and embrace being “the good guys” in the fight against climate change.

Of the 1,000 agencies to have signed the Clean Creatives pledge, the United States tops the list of agency HQ locations (350), with the United Kingdom following (265). Canada is third (65), with South Africa (57), Germany (43), Australia (36), Netherlands (30), and Sweden (20) following.

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 completes the list. 138 of the 1,000 agencies are B Corp certified.

The full list of agency signers is available at cleancreatives.org/agency-signers.

Clean Creatives also surveyed 95 of the 1000 pledged agencies about the reasons for signing and its impact on their business.

  • When asked, the top reason agencies listed for signing the pledge was “Alignment with values and mission,” followed by “Positive impact on the climate.”
  • The top positive impact of the pledge on their business was an improvement in employee recruitment and retention. As one agency CEO described, “It gives [our employees] confidence in our intent and purpose, and this is hugely important to them.”
  • 37% of agencies stated the Clean Creatives pledge positively impacted relationships with existing clients, with no agency reporting any negativity. 

“We’re incredibly proud to stand with 1,000 agencies of all sizes and disciplines worldwide refusing to work with the fossil fuel industry. The Clean Creatives pledge has galvanized 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. We’re grateful to every agency that has stepped up to lead on this issue. They are showing the importance of leadership, and I think we can look forward to many more joining them,” shared Duncan Meisel, Executive Director of Clean Creatives.

Clean Creatives will premiere its next F-List Awards – a satirical awards show recognizing the best of fossil fuel industry greenwash featuring a group of ad industry creatives, comedic creatives and climate leaders —–on May 08, 2024. It will be hosted by WGA Award-winning comedian and writer Nicole Conlan, who currently writes for The Daily Show and previously for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

To learn more about the Clean Creatives pledge or to sign it, visit cleancreatives.org.

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