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Bad publicity: the PR firms accused of spinning climate misinformation

Bad publicity: the PR firms accused of spinning climate misinformation
Written by Publishing Team

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Big Oil’s reputation managers face their own PR crisis

PR firms pride themselves on securing favorable coverage for their clients while staying away from the news themselves. A new group of climate activists are betting they can pressure some of these clients by pulling their public relations Consultants in the headlines.

As Andrew Edgecliffe Johnson of the Financial Times explains here, this is a new tactic in the environmental movement: track down the consultants who help oil and gas companies and other high-emission companies shape their messages.

groups like clean designs We hope that by naming and exposing the PR firms and ad agencies that work for fossil fuel groups, they can starve those companies of the talent they depend on to influence climate debates.

New Yorkers protested last year against the financial sector's role in contributing to climate change

Hundreds of New Yorkers protested last year against the financial sector’s role in contributing to climate change © Erik McGregor / Sipa USA / Reuters

Other consultants face similar pressure from their employees or potential recruits. Last year, more than 1,100 employees of a consulting firm were hit by scandal McKinsey He was asked if her work with heavily polluted clients was damaging her reputation, while American Law School students urged a boycott of the law firm. Gibson Dunn on energy work.

This approach has echoes of previous campaigns against banks and asset managers, with activists aiming to starve the capital of the oil and gas companies they invest in or finance.

will you work? One of the first goals of clean creators, EdelmanIt has just responded by producing a new set of principles that govern the clients it will deal with. The world’s largest PR firm says it will only work with companies committed to accelerating work toward net zero emissions.

Asked if that would mean dropping customers like ExxonMobil And seashells, chief executive officer Richard Edelman She said she might “break up with the company” with some clients. So far, it has not ignored any clients, nor segmented any segment.

Richard Edelman, Head of PR Group Edelman

Richard Edelman, President of the Edelman Public Relations Group. The company has adopted new principles that govern the clients it will deal with © Bloomberg

Other PR firms have felt the fallout from harsh headlines about the fossil fuel business. A story in the New York Times last year alleging moral red flags FTI ConsultingWork for oil groups pay revisions by Carbon Detection ProjectAnd morning star And MSCI. The three confirmed to Camilla Hodgson of the Financial Times that they are no longer working with the FTI.

Fossil fuel companies must be able to communicate the steps they are taking in the carbon transition process, reading sign, head to WPP, he told investors last year. But he admitted that public skepticism about the substance behind the sustainability spin has been a problem, “especially in this age of social media, which advocates greenwashing so clearly.”

Climate activists know what thick-skinned oil tycoons can be (see Derek BrewerLunch with the Financial Times with the rocky billionaire Harold Hamm). They are now hopeful that young creatives working in public relations and advertising firms in the industry will be more sensitive to criticism.

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Houston, do we have a problem?

At least there is a good airport. Top US bankruptcy attorneys used to ride the subway to downtown Manhattan or perhaps from Amtrak Acela to Wilmington, Delaware when their clients file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But they may now instead find themselves traveling to Houston, Texas.

In 2020, . was released Southern District of Texas The top spot chosen by the top rankings in Chapter 11 was ahead of traditional leaders New York and Delaware, according to data analyzed by the Financial Times.

DD’s Sujeet Indap explores the world of mega bankruptcy filings in this deep dive, and how two Texas judges have become the favorites of the elite to restructure law firms in recent years.

The city handled 41 cases in 2020 — more than anywhere else in the United States — including major cases JCPenneyAnd Neiman Marcus And Chesapeake Energy. Richmond, Virginia, and western North Carolina have also emerged as popular destinations.

You are viewing a screenshot of an interactive graphic. This is most likely due to you being offline or having JavaScript disabled in your browser.


Proponents of the status quo, in which companies have great flexibility to choose which court will oversee their reorganization, say that very few judges have the savvy to deal with more complex situations involving private equity and hedge fund wrangling.

On the other hand, pessimists say judges tend to relent in order to keep the big hitters back to their courtrooms in later cases.

OxyContin . maker Purdue Pharma You were guaranteed to oversee his case for 2019 Judge Robert Drane After selecting a court in Westchester County, New York. This situation affected Southern District of New YorkRandom selection decision across all nine bankruptcy judges.

In Houston, the judges David Jones And Marvin Esgur Their popularity has risen in part because of their expertise in managing complex balance sheet restructurings.

Lawyers say there is an advantage in knowing which judge will preside over a particular case.

“My clients look to us for our advice and experience with certain judges and courts. For example, they want to know that I have seen this judge deal with a case like this,” said Freshfields partner. Madeleine Primov.

You are viewing a screenshot of an interactive graphic. This is most likely due to you being offline or having JavaScript disabled in your browser.


Members of Congress including John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, and Elizabeth WarrenD., a Massachusetts Democrat, has proposed legislation that would force companies to file bankruptcy petitions close to their core operations.

In the world of Zoom, such a system might end up being a perfect fit. But at some point, lawyers might land in small airports.

Didi is heading for another IPO

When the Chinese government launched an investigation into a riding group listed in New York Didi Chuxing In July, it blew up the tires of Wall Street deal makers rising for record fees from deals involving Chinese companies.

Hong Kong bankers could soon see some of that money. More than six months after a disastrous IPO in the US, Didi has turned out to be a listing in Chinese territory, but first it must traverse a number of roadblocks hampering a smooth listing process, as Ryan McMorrow of the Financial Times, Sun Yu and Arash learned Masoudi of the Financial Times.

Montage of Didi Chuxing chief Jean Liu and market data

Didi Chuxing, president of Gan Liu. The group’s losses ballooned to $7.6 billion in the first nine months of last year © FT montage/Bloomberg

so called “Uber China “Informal discussions have begun with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange about a public listing, two people familiar with the situation said.

The road is paved with uncertainty. The Beijing investigation into Didi’s data security has yet to be resolved. It has struggled to obtain the correct permits for its businesses and drivers in many Chinese cities.

Column chart showing Didi's losses

For Diddy, it’s either you do or you die. Shares of the company, which started trading at $14, fell to $4.90, after losing more than $40 billion in market value. Its losses ballooned to $7.6 billion in the first nine months of last year, and the company is on track to drain its pile of cash and short-term investments by mid-2023.

Beijing’s blessing can make or break Didi’s aspirations. A FT source close to Didi’s executive team said the Hong Kong Stock Exchange wanted the company to be fully compliant in 70 to 80 percent of the company’s 100 largest Chinese cities, a goal that remains elusive, according to Chinese regulators.

Graph showing the percentage of Didi rides that use properly licensed drivers and cars

Didi is quick to appease the government by courting state-backed investors, including a rival riding group. Shawky The state-owned conglomerate Quote, while also pressing the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to lower its compliance requirements.

The question is: Can you pull that off before the gas runs out?

Job moves

  • Melissa Sawyer Promoted to Global Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at Sullivan and Cromwell. you passed Frank Aquila, who is now the company’s lead partner in mergers and acquisitions and will remain a member of the management committee.

  • Swiss credit Named Oliver Tucker As Head of UK Investment Banking Wealth Management Coverage. Previously, he was the Managing Director of Nomura.

  • Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group hired Jess Sudasky As Managing Director and Head of Investment Grade Credit Sales. He joined New York after spending two decades at Credit Suisse.

  • venture capital company Little Perkins He promoted investors Annie Kiss And Josh Quinn to share.

  • Linklaters Hired a Supreme Court lawyer Bart Floren As a consultant in dispute resolution practices in Amsterdam. He was recently a senior assistant at De Brau Blackstone Westbrook.

smart readings

Skip the city Brexit has pushed EU traders out of Britain into emerging hubs such as Paris and Frankfurt. Now, Wall Street giants like JPMorgan Chase have joined the party in Europe as well, throwing the City of London’s financial dominance into uncertainty. (Bloomberg)

space wits Boutique investment bank Jefferies has carved out a lucrative position in the blank check space, even as the broader market stumbles on controversial investment vehicles. (Reuters)

bad credit After a 20-year lending spree that turned Beijing into Africa’s largest source of development finance, Chinese lenders are starting to pull back (FT)

news tour

Novice KPMG auditor in Carillion case unaware he was doing anything wrong, Court (FT) hears

Abu Dhabi wealth fund resists trend to bet on Turkey (FT)

Terry Smith (FT) says Unilever has ‘lost plot’ by focusing on sustainability

UniCredit drops as potential Russian deal raises doubts (BBG)

Back to Zoom: Omicron weighs in on investment bankers clamor (Reuters)

Fintech Start-up Checkout.com achieves $40 billion valuation in latest stock sale (Wall Street Journal)

Morgan Stanley awards 20% bonus to top performers (Reuters)

Lex Newsletter: Make Room for Canadians (LEX)

Elliott and Ankora lead hedge funds in pressuring more women on boards (Reuters)

Von der Leyen expects EU deal on rules for women on boards (FT)

Bounced Check Fees: Banks Feel Heat From Guardians and Startups (LEX)

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