JAKARTA — Asia Pulp & Paper has contacted several agency networks in an effort to review its global PR support, the Holmes Report has learned.

The move comes after the controversial paper giant ended its global relationship with Cohn & Wolfe last year. Since then, according to sources familiar with the situation, APP has been working with Edelman, which leads global PR duties from Indonesia. The company also counts relationships with other consultancies, including SPRG in Singapore and WPP's Global Counsel.

It is understood that APP is asking agencies to provide details of their capabilities and fees across numerous global markets. The company has yet to decide whether to consolidate its business with one network or expand within a holding group.

The review comes after considerable changes in APP's sustainability and corporate affairs leadership. Former Singapore army general Bernard Tan now oversees corporate affairs and sustainability, while Elim Sritaba has replaced Aida Greenbury as sustainability head. 

Both Sritaba and corporate affairs head Suhendra Wiriadinata report into Tan. Meanwhile, global communications head Randy Salim recently left the company and his role remains unfilled.

The APP assignment is considered one of the tougher briefs in the public relations world, given the scrutiny the company attracts from NGOs over its environmental practices. Cohn & Wolfe, for example, won the global brief in 2010 after Weber Shandwick resigned the business.

Recent criticism of the company has centred on the construction of a massive new pulp mill in South Sumatra. SPRG's mandate in Singapore, accordingly, involves promoting APP's firefighting and haze prevention efforts

APP representatives did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.

PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.wetlands.org/publications/will-asia-pulp-paper-default-on-its-zero-deforestation-commitment/