AUSTIN, TX — Clean Creatives, whose anti-fossil fuel campaigns typically target agencies that work with Big Oil, today is marking a fellow industry advocacy group’s US rollout by taking over social channels with the organization’s name, Ad Net Zero, until the latter produces an approvable action plan.

Clean Creatives will be using @adnetzero on Twitter, @adnetzero on Instagram and @adnetZero on TikTok — which Clean Creatives ate up when it could — “to ask for evidence of a true plan to transition to net zero that includes member agencies ending promotion of Big Oil" and will “happily share access” to those accounts once that’s done.

“If that plan is not offered, Clean Creatives will use the accounts as a hub for information on genuine efforts towards achieving Net Zero in the ad industry,” Clean Creatives said. Clean Creatives’ primary criticism is that Ad Net Zero’s sponsors include WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic Group, all of which have agencies that work with fossil fuel companies.

UK-based Ad Net Zero, which launches today in the US, however, defended its approach to reducing emissions, adding “All contributions and debates are welcome which help us address the single biggest issue we face as an industry and planet: the climate crisis.”

The group also noted that Ad Net Zero's only official social channel is on LinkedIn.

“Ad Net Zero is unique in its approach to find collaborative solutions at a global level to work across the advertising eco-system — it brings advertisers, agencies, media owners, production companies, tech companies and trade bodies together to solve a common problem,” a spokesperson said.

"Ad Net Zero aims to change the way we work — through its five-step plan decarbonizing our own industry’s emissions – and change the work we make, asking for united action from every single advertising professional. This can be delivered through training to understand the regulations around environmental claims to normalizing the use of carbon measurement in productions and media. It is worth looking at the Ad Net Zero Global Summit as a record of the progress that is being made year on year," the spokesperson said.
The social media campaign is the latest in a spate of high-profile moves by Clean Creatives, along with scientists, celebrities and officials, to pressure the industry to drop fossil fuel clients.

In an open letter in November, more than 400 scientists called on Hill+Knowlton to sever its ties with Big Oil, saying that working for fossil fuel companies while the firm was also handling PR for the UN climate change conference was a conflict of interest.

During the annual Climate Week in September, Clean Creatives plastered parts of lower Manhattan with posters calling on agencies — most notably Edelman — to drop their fossil fuel clients.

Three days earlier, UN Secretary-General António Guterres blasted PR agencies for “raking in billions” by downplaying fossil fuel clients’ detrimental effect on the climate — and said they should pay for doing so.

And less than a week before that, federal legislators ramped up their probe into PR firms’ relationships with Big Oil companies with a congressional hearing that investigated the industry’s role in spreading deceptive information

In January, more than 450 scientists called on PR and advertising firms to stop working with fossil fuel companies.

The effort was coordinated in partnership with the Union of Concerned Scientists and Clean Creatives, which in November, launched a high-profile celebrity and influencer campaign calling on Edelman to drop fossil fuel clients.

Two weeks earlier, Edelman unveiled a series of actions it pledged to take in response to those calls, which include walking away from companies that do not meet a series of criteria on climate action. At that time, Edelman identified 20 emissions-intensive clients for follow-up discussions after a 60-day review of its portfolio.

Edelman, however, stopped short of dropping fossil fuel companies across-the-board, saying its work pushing clients toward achieving net zero goals is more productive than walking away.