Will PR have to stop filling up with petrol?

Tomorrow's Business

A question: how serious, how mainstream, would Extinction Rebellion have to become before PR firms decided it was bad for their own reputation to represent big oil?

My man in the ten-gallon hat whose only problem with spinning for Global Polluters Inc is that they haven’t asked him yet, doubts it will come to that.

We’re miles off that eventuality, he says, with reason. Moreover, those huge companies have a good case to make that they are doing the right thing, are increasingly part of the solution.

He’d be delighted to take their enormous cheque to help them burnish their green credentials.

Ok. But say Extinction Rebellion hires its own savvy flak. A flak who just hates the oil companies. His advice: go after the PR companies.

Paint them as the evil fixers in the background, aiding the death of the planet in return for a few quid from Shell.

PR firms with terrible PR don’t last long. Ask Bell Pottinger.

So, it’s 2022. The chief executive of Shell meets the chief executive of the PR company that is plastered all over the front page of The Guardian, under the headline “The City PR man who is spinning us to certain death”.

“Remind me,” he asks. “Why am I taking advice from you?”

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