As of April first, 130,000 hectares of rainforests have been added to New Zealand's National Parks and conservation reserves, thanks to the the unravelling and demise of a devious pro-logging PR campaign run by a government-owned company, Timberlands, and its PR adviser, Shandwick New Zealand. In 1999 a whistleblower leaked hundreds of pages of internal Shandwick documents which formed the basis for the shocking exposé Secrets and Lies: The Anatomy of an Anti-Environmental PR Campaign by Nicky Hager and Bob Burton.
Details of "the great biofraud," as the Washington Times dubbed the affair, emerged just before Christmas of last year. Wildlife scientists in Washington State were accused of "planting" clumps of wild lynx fur in national forests. Supposedly the fraud was planned so the Endangered Species Act could be invoked to close the forest to campers and loggers. In reality, as government employees have insisted ever since the beginning, the whole story is a fabrication.
For years, the Clearinghouse for Environmental Education, Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) did yeoman's work researching the financial ties and extremist rhetoric of the corporate-funded anti-environmental movement. Until recently a project of the Environmental Working Group, CLEAR recently spun off to become independent.
"If you've ever given money to an environmental organization ... you might even be a terrorist, or at least an accomplice. At least that's what Nick Nichols seems to think. Nichols views wouldn't matter if he were just another backwoods loser. On the contrary, environmental watchdogs fear he's at the vanguard of efforts to exploit the nation's post-September 11th mood by tarring the entire green movement as extremists. ...
"Titled 'Rhode Island Positioning,' the memo distributed two weeks ago by public-relations consultant Jody Powell to the dozens of lawyers and consultants representing the nation's lead-paint companies was a straightforward exposition on how to spin public perceptions," writes the Providence Journal.
As Bob Burton revealed last year in PR Watch, the whaling industry is using "scientific research" as PR subterfuge to revive commercial whaling.
Literally before the dust had cleared at Ground Zero, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the city's news media rushed to assure people that the city's air was safe. Now evidence is accumulating that these reassurances may have been tragically wrong, as investigators find dangerous levels of PCBs, mercury and asbestos thrown into the air by the disaster. "Many people who live or work in lower Manhattan are convinced that they have not been told the truth," reports Alyssa Katz. "They say that they're sick--throats sore, lungs hacking.
With the words "corporate responsibility" finding their way into the mouths of more and more business leaders, PR giant Ketchum has launched a new corporate responsibility unit, promoting what Ketchum's Raymond Kotcher calls a "21st century management philosophy that advances commercial and financial success by demonstrating respect for ethical values, people, communities, and the physical and social environment." Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman PR Worldwide, is also leapin
The Clearinghouse on Environmental Education, Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) has issued a special bulletin detailing efforts by anti-environmentalist to attack green activism. "There have been rhetorical attacks branding public interest groups as elitist and unpatriotic, further attacks on non-profit status of a handful of groups, and a renewed intensity in fighting 'eco-terrorism,' a term and concept environmental backlash leaders are trying desperately to get into circulation," the report states.
Tobacco lobbyist Rick Berman began his Guest Choice Network with $600,000 from Philip Morris. This month he renamed his tobacco front group "ConsumerFreedom.com" and under that name is running a full page ad on the back cover of today's Weekly Standard attacking the animal rights group PETA. Another full page ad in the January 28 issue of Newsweek attacks Greenpeace.