min listen

Creative alert

If you're working with fossil fuel companies, you're supporting climate change

April 17, 2024

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Duncan Meisel is the Executive Director of Clean Creatives, a movement of advertisers, PR professionals, and their clients cutting ties with fossil fuels. Their pitch to creatives: fossil fuel clients represent a threat to our shared future. And since their founding, over 900 agencies have pledged to not work with them.

In our conversation, we discuss how Clean Creatives - now a global movement - started after a realization that the creative industry plays a vital - even if sometimes unintentional - role in supporting the fossil fuel industry. Duncan highlights the importance of transparency and working with individuals and brands who are committed to climate action, and walks us through their Clean Creatives Pledge, their Smoke and Mirrors report, and the F-List. He offers advice for starting a movement and emphasizes the need to take the first step and learn from experts along the way.

Dive into the episode to learn more and to hear advice and insights on:

  • Why pledging not to work for fossil fuels polluters is the best way to show you are committed to a sustainable future for the creative industry
  • Leaning on experts who are keeping up with these issues so that you don't have to do it all yourself
  • Starting small - As long as you're taking the first steps, you’re on the journey
  • Aligning your climate values with your client base
  • The real reputational risks associated with working with problematic industries

Clean Creatives is taking a unique approach to climate action, saying that Sustainability is about your clients, not your company. In order for us to transition off of fossil fuels, Duncan says we need to wake up advertising, marketing, PR firms and agencies to say, “Hey, you can't, I guess for lack of a better word, be complicit in this with them. We need you off of these projects, so that the story can die.”


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