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In its Code of Ethics, the Public Relations Society of America outlines the values that its members should aspire to when working on behalf of clients.
As examples of what not to do, the code offers a few scenarios, including: Creating “front groups” to simulate grassroots support for a client and employing people to pose as volunteers to participate in “grassroots” campaigns.
And yet, at a congressional hearing held last month held by the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, witness testimony and accompanying documents showed agencies using those very maneuvers on behalf of fossil fuel companies across the country.