The Environmental Working Group has obtained and analyzed documents from a briefing book assembled by Frank Luntz, a top public opinion researcher for corporate lobbyists. The briefing book offers a PR playbook on how to frame the current wholesale rollback of environmental and public health protections while avoiding a stinging public backlash.
"To draw attention to the troubling trend of corporate 'pinkwashing,' Breast Cancer Action, a national grassroots breast cancer advocacy organization, is running an ad in the national edition of the New York Times questioning some high-profile corporate marketing campaigns launched in connection with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 'We're not opposed to companies raising money for the cause,' said Barbara Brenner, Breast Cancer Action's executive director.
"A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biologist has resigned in protest of his agency's acceptance of a developer-financed study concluding that wetlands discharge more pollutants than they absorb, according to a statement released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). EPA's approval of the study gives developers credit for improving water quality by replacing natural wetlands with golf courses and other developments. ...
ExxonMobil, which has a reputation as the least socially responsible oil country in the world (no small feat), has been holding "a series of secret meetings with environmental and human rights groups worldwide in an effort to change its hard-nosed public image," reports Terry Macalister. But critics such as Cindy Baxter, a spokeswoman for the Stop Esso campaign, remain unconvinced. "This looks like PR.
Curious about who owns your local media, telephone and cable company? The Center for Public Integrity has created a searchable database that contains basic information on every radio and television station in America as well as every cable television system and telephone company. You can search by company, by call sign or by area. Searchers will find basic information on some of the most important telecommunication companies, including a brief corporate profile and basic financial information.
"Major US corporations ranging from Pfizer to Halliburton are mobilizing scores of public affairs professionals across Washington this fall in hopes that the new legislative session will bring an end to years of costly asbestos-related lawsuits," PR Week's Douglas Quenqua writes. "Working separately as the Asbestos Study Group (ASG) and the Asbestos Alliance (AA), hundreds of major companies that have either manufactured or used asbestos are lobbying for protection from more than 600,000 asbestos lawsuits now pending in US courts.
"This month, the General Accounting Office (GAO) - the investigative and auditing arm of Congress - issued a report that contains some startling revelations," notes John Dean. "Though they are couched in very polite language, they are bombshells nonetheless.
"Fox News channel talk show host Bill O'Reilly says 'shut up' the way other people say 'um,'" observes Jack Shafer. "On his daily show, The O'Reilly Factor, he uses it as a place-holder for an idea still formulating in his brain. As a way to begin a sentence, end it, or punctuate it. ... He's even heaved this impolite language at entire nations, demanding they recuse themselves from the international conversation. In the half-decade his top-rated show has been on the air, he's called for the muzzling of practically everybody.
"I'd love to make the case that Fox News will suffer irreparable damage to its reputation as a result of its frivolous lawsuit against satirist and author Al Franken, but I can't," writes Paul Holmes for PR Week. "Because the kind of people who take Fox News seriously won't care, and the kind of people who care are already incapable of taking Fox News seriously. ...