This Fossil Fuel Nonprofit Cut Ties With Havas Over Shell Account. Now It Has a New AOR

Allison signed the Clean Creatives pledge in 2023

Experience ADWEEK House at Cannes, June 16-19. We’re celebrating 45 years of reporting with Now and Next—a creative opportunity for brands to define who they are and their future in the industry. Register .

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, a diplomatic and communications campaign promoting a clean energy transition and fiscally sponsored by the Earth Island Institute, has a new public relations agency of record: Stagwell-owned global PR and marketing firm Allison, formerly Allison+Partners.

The announcement, shared exclusively with ADWEEK, comes nearly five months after the Treaty cut ties with Havas Red—a decision that came immediately after it learned that Havas Media had won the Shell account in September.

“We are excited to work with Allison to forward our mission to foster international cooperation in order to accelerate a transition to clean energy for everyone,” Nathália Clark, communications director for the Treaty, said in a statement. “Critical to our success is ensuring that our message and aims are heard loud and clear across the globe and that we continue to build momentum and diplomatic support behind this big, bold idea commensurate with the scale of the crisis we face.”

A shift toward clean agencies

The Treaty’s new AOR, Allison, is a signatory to the Clean Creatives pledge, meaning that it has committed to refuse work from fossil fuel companies due to their outsized role in the climate crisis.

These changes could signal an industry trend away from heavy polluters and their agency partners as the effects of climate change become more tangible.

“Agencies that have major fossil fuel clients have a conflict of interest when it comes to clients with a genuine climate agenda,” said Duncan Meisel, executive director of Clean Creatives. “A company like Shell that is increasing its production of fossil fuels will be pushing for behavior and policy that is directly opposed to both environmental NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and any company that sees reducing its reliance on polluting fossil fuels as a priority.”

Allison became the largest agency to sign the Clean Creatives pledge last fall, shortly after the Treaty split with Havas Red.

Michael Poland, campaign director for the Treaty, said in September that the group “had been really impressed by a lot of [the Havas Red] team, and there seemed like potential for lots of work on climate.” The parent company’s decision to work with Shell “closed that door,” he said, adding that it would begin looking for a new PR agency.

Allison’s work for the Treaty will be supported by the agency’s Purpose Center of Excellence, a joint project between Allison and sister agency Headstand. The center specializes in purpose brand strategy and sustainability leadership, according to a statement from the firm.

“Our team feels passionately about our ability to make an impact on an issue that is one of the most important challenges facing society today,” Whitney Dailey, executive vice president and lead for Allison’s Purpose Center of Excellence, said in a statement. “Supporting the Treaty in its work means that we are ushering forward a movement that is the most effective and just way to keep CO2 emissions within the 1.5°C budget.”

The firm declined to disclose how much the account is worth, but Poland described the relationship with Havas Red as “millions of dollars over many years of potential climate work” when speaking with ADWEEK last fall.

Allison began working with the Treaty in 2023, supporting its presence at the United Nations climate summit, known as COP28, in Dubai. The Treaty gained the support of four additional countries during the summit—Colombia, Palau, Samoa and Nauru—for a total of 12 endorsements.

This article has been updated to include the value of the account.

Enjoying Adweek's Content? Register for More Access!