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PR for the planet

‘Few PR offences have been so obvious, so successful and so despicable as the attack on the scientific certainty of climate change.’ Not, as you might assume, the words of an environmental activist, but of a prominent Canadian PR professional. James Hoggan represents a slew of big corporations and trade associations. But, reports PR Watch (www.prwatch.org), Hoggan is also the chair of leading environmental organization the David Suzuki Foundation – and he has been using his DeSmogBlog to heap shame and ridicule upon his colleagues in the PR business over the issue of climate change. Hoggan brands his sector’s attack on the reality of global warming as: ‘A triumph of disinformation. It is living proof of the success of one of the boldest and most extensive PR campaigns in history, primarily financed by the energy industry and executed by some of the best PR talent in the world. As a public relations practitioner, it is a marvel – and a deep humiliation – and I want to see it stop.’ Could we be witnessing the dawn of ‘ethical PR’? Put it this way: we’re not holding our breath...

New Internationalist issue 404 magazine cover This article is from the September 2007 issue of New Internationalist.
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