Ogilvy PR

Ogilvy PR

Ogilvy History (by Sourcewatch): Ogilvy was founded in 1948. It was the first agency to do work in China, Korea and Vietnam, and also the first into Eastern Europe. Ogilvy contracted with the Tobacco Institute to provide public affairs consulting developing strategies to fight public health efforts to reduce smoking.

In April 2008, Ogilvy launched a brand called OgilvyEarth to position itself within the green communications and brand management markets.

Annual Fee Income 2012: $297,000,000

2018 Climate Survey Response 2014 Climate Survey ResponseClients and CampaignsBackground

 2014 Climate Survey Response Synopsis

Ogilvy PR is a member of the WPP group, an advertising and public relations holding company, which offered a response to our survey on behalf of its subsidiaries. Ogilvy Global CEO Christopher J. Graves also responded, citing a number of PR campaigns that Ogilvy has conducted for environmental organizations and detailing its carbon emissions accounting policies. He provided a link to WPP’s sustainability policy as well as Ogilvy’s sustainability report from 2012-2013.

Ogilvy has set specific carbon impact reduction goals and implements a number of techniques to achieve them, including “purchasing green-tariff electricity where available” and “improving the energy efficiency of buildings and IT systems.” Graves did not respond to the question regarding Ogilvy’s work with clients on environmental or corporate social responsibility projects.

Climate Survey Full Response

Dear Kert,

As Ogilvy Public Relations is part of the WPP holding company, all our efforts and initiatives are centrally coordinated for all the WPP companies. We come together under WPP in a concerted, coordinated effort and each company must participate. Therefore, you will see our group responses below which are equally valid for Ogilvy Public Relations, plus I will refer to Ogilvy specific items as well. I hope that’s helpful.

Does your company acknowledge the threat and challenge of climate change?

WPP recognizes the significant risks associated with global climate change. Ogilvy does as well, of course. We encourage clients to engage with climate change or environmental groups such as Greenpeace or WWF. We have a relationship with WWF stretching back to 1977 when our founder, David Ogilvy, served as a founder of WWF. And we still work with them. Here is WWF work out of the UK..And more work out of Paris. And WWF work out of our India office…and out of Singapore.

We also do work for Greenpeace. Here is an animated piece of work our Beijing office did for Greenpeace. Here is another one (Chopstick Forrest). Here is a rooftop giant project we did with Greenpeace in Johannesburg.

See our Ogilvy CSR here. We also publicly list some of our pro bono work and environmental work with some clients here. Ogilvy has also been chosen by the United Nations to support its climate change work.

Does your company have any internal carbon accounting policies or energy use reduction targets? Have you taken actions to reduce your carbon footprint?

WPP is committed to managing and reducing its environmental footprint. The group began measuring its carbon footprint in 2006. It has set a target to reduce carbon emissions to 1.8 tonnes of CO2 per person, a 47% reduction from 2006. To date it has reduced carbon emissions per person by 31% on 2006 levels.

WPP’s most significant greenhouse gas emissions come from energy use in buildings and business air travel. It has taken action in the following areas:

  • Office energy use – Improving the energy efficiency of buildings and IT systems.
  • Air travel – Reducing non-essential flights by promoting videoconferencing and collaboration tools and offsetting carbon emissions, equivalent to those from business air travel, by supporting renewable energy generation in fast growing economies.
  • Renewable energy – Purchasing green-tariff electricity where available. Ogilvy tracks the following on an annual basis:
    • heating oil & gas
    • standard electricity
    • renewable electricity
    • air travel (short haul)
    • air travel (long haul)
    • carbon footprint by office worldwide
    • carbon intensity by office worldwide

WPP participates in the CDP Climate Change program, a collaboration of institutional investors, and was ranked in the B band for performance and received a disclosure score of 95 out of 100. Ogilvy has actually worked for the CDP as well.

Read more here.

Does your company have an internal CSR policy regarding climate change or the environment?

Yes. Environmental issues are covered in the WPP Sustainability Policy. Here is the full WPP Sustainability Report 2012-13 (latest not published yet).

Best regards,

Christopher J. Graves

Global CEO

Ogilvy Public Relations

DC: +1 202 729 4308


Read WPP’s response here.

Clients and Campaigns

United Nations (2009) Hopenhagen.org

UN’s Momentum for Change campaign as part of the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw in November. Read more here.

British Petroleum

beyond petroleum

  • Deepwater Horizon: In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Ogilvy, along with Purple strategies, launched an aggressive social media campaign on behalf of BP, utilizing both Twitter and Facebook. BP was later criticized for their handling of negative responses on their social media pages, with a whistleblower claiming that Ogilvy was behind the harassment of BP’s critics.
  •  Beyond Petroleum campaign: In 1999 Ogilvy worked with BP to create their “Beyond Petroleum” re-branding campaign. The goals of the campaign were to “help BP transcend the oil sector” and be seen as an “environmentally responsible” company.

Greenpeace ad campaigns:

“Smoke and mirrors: Obama DOE fracked gas export study contractor’s tobacco industry roots”

This piece mentions Ogilvy’s work with National Economic Research Associates Economic Consulting, which has had a long history of pushing for deregulation. Working alongside public relations industry giant Ogilvy-Mathew and the Tobacco Institute, NERA also attempted to defeat the then-proposed smoking ban in Los Angeles County in 1990. Ogilvy also help BP rebrand itself “Beyond Petroleum.”

Energy Upgrade California (2014)According to the Holmes Report, Ogilvy recently won a two-year, $1.8 million contract to help coordinate Energy Upgrade California’s (EUC) “energy management initiative.” EUC is “an umbrella brand […] intended to raise awareness and spur behavior change in how Californians consume energy.”

Ogilvy Sustainability Practice: 

OgilvyEarth, Ogilvy PR’s sustainability and clean tech specialty group, combines industry knowledge with a multi-disciplinary approach to help both entrepreneurial start-ups and major corporations tell a credible and compelling story about how products, services and processes either harness renewable materials and energy sources, reduce the use of natural resources, and/or cut emissions and waste.” – From O’Dwyer’s Special Issue on Environmental Communications and Public Affairs, February 2014

Address: 1111 19th Street NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 729-4000

Background Resources