Ad firm touts its "clean coal" persuasion work

Ad firm touts its "clean coal" persuasion work
on

When it comes to the idea of clean coal author Jeff Goodell put it best: “Clean coal” is not an actual invention, a physical thing – it is an advertising slogan. Like “fat-free donuts” or “interest-free loans.”

In other words, the idea that coal somehow fits the definition of “clean” is nothing more than an illusion created by ad firms and public relations spindoctors. The truth of the matter is that coal remains the dirtiest fossil fuel in America, pumping all sorts of nasty by-products into our air, like Mercury and heat-trapping greenhouse gases that are the main culprit when it comes to climate change.

Earlier this year we reported that the public relations firm behind the coal industry’s multi-million dollar marketing blitz to put a clean shiny new face on coal was boasting their ability to manipulate the opinions of both Democratic and Republican politicians.

Now the advertising firm behind the heavily-aired “America’s Power” campaign, R & R Partners – Advertising,  has come out with its own brag-sheet detailing the ad work it did for the coal industry’s main front group the, “American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity” (ACCCE).

Rob Van Raaphorst, Account Supervisor, Public Relations at R&R Advertising and Persuasion explains that their company prepared, “a fully integrated marketing, branding and issue-advocacy campaign to educate our audiences on the importance of coal in their daily lives… Outreach consisted of grassroots, earned media, paid media and advocacy tactics that created a “surround-sound” effect targeting each of our audiences through all mediums and communications. Grassroots efforts included street teams, walking billboards, mobile billboards and recruitment and mobilization of an ACCCE Army (supporters of ACCCE and its mission) at presidential primaries, debates, conventions and other key campaign events.”

R&R Advertising has a second case study up on their website discussing the development of ACCCE’s $400,000 website CleanCoalUSA.org. Interestingly, in this case study R&R does not directly attribute the website to ACCCE, but instead to an advocacy group called the “Coal-Based Generation Stakeholders.” A quick online search finds that the Coal-Based Generation Stakeholder is an organization made up of a diverse group of investor owned utilities, rural electric co-ops, public power companies, coal producers and coal-hauling railroads.

Members of the Coal-Based Generation Stakeholder group include ACCCE president, Steve Miller (big surprise), Irl Engelhardt, president and CEO, Peabody Energy, Ruth Shaw, President and CEO, Duke Energy and Jack Gerard, President and CEO, National Mining Association.

A cozy little tight knit group of major coal players all working together with their ad firms and spindoctors to convince us that clean coal (like fat-free donuts) actually exists.

Note: ACCCE had this to say about my piece.

Ad firm touts its "clean coal" persuasion work

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

Related Posts

on

Even the best-performing retailer, Co-op, nevertheless only scored 45 percent in the analysis.

Even the best-performing retailer, Co-op, nevertheless only scored 45 percent in the analysis.
on

Dozens of events on four continents hope to turn up the pressure on the insurance industry that underwrites Canada’s Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline.

Dozens of events on four continents hope to turn up the pressure on the insurance industry that underwrites Canada’s Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline.
on

Last week, the government said it would keep issuing new oil and gas exploration licences, contradicting recommendations from a recent high-profile report by the International Energy Agency.

Last week, the government said it would keep issuing new oil and gas exploration licences, contradicting recommendations from a recent high-profile report by the International Energy Agency.
on

The so-called "Green Nobel Prize" recognizes the environmental justice efforts of Lavigne in her quest to prevent further polluting industry from coming to her region of Louisiana.

The so-called "Green Nobel Prize" recognizes the environmental justice efforts of Lavigne in her quest to prevent further polluting industry from coming to her region of Louisiana.