SINGAPORE — Indonesian paper producer Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) has retained SPRG as its global PR agency following a competitive review.

The decision comes three years after SPRG was hired to handle an assignment that attracts considerable scrutiny because of APP's environmental record. The remit covers seven markets — Singapore, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Europe — down from the 11 that it covered when it began in 2018.

At the time, SPRG was enlisted to work with APP's network of agencies to ensure the paper giant's message was "properly communicated" internally and externally, while also working with the company on branding, social and digital communications.

APP has long attracted attention from NGOs over its environmental practices, Earlier this year, for example, NGOs warned that the planned expansion of APP's OKI paper mill would have "catastrophic consequences for forests, peatlands, and communities."

Last year, a report by Environmental Paper Network (EPN) claimed that APP had flouted its own sustainability commitments, and also alleged that APP had not fulfilled promises to rehabilitate degraded peatlands.

APP called the report “misinformed” and based on untrue, and old, allegations. EPN responded by describing APP’s response as “an inaccurate and misleading response to the evidence of a failure to implement its own Forest Conservation Policy.”

The APP assignment is one of a slew of new briefs that SPRG has landed since August. The 53 new clients include PR AOR duties for Atome in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, investor relations for Hutchmed, media relations for Hang Lung Property and assignments for Octowill and PERSOLKELLY.

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