NEW YORK—The American Chemistry Council, trade association for the chemical industry, has selected WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide for a $50 million advertising and PR program. Some member companies are reportedly worried that negative perceptions of the industry have only been exacerbated by recent media discussion of chemical weapons.
The Ogilvy team beat out fellow finalists Y&R Advertising and Burson-Marsteller, also part of WPP, and Havas’ Euro RSCG and Euro RSCG Middleberg, part of Havas. The three-month selection process began with 13 agencies.
The selection comes just days after ACC president and CEO Greg Lebedev called for aggressive advocacy efforts across international borders to stave off attempts to curtail the responsible use of essential chemical products.
Lebedev cited a pending European Union White Paper on chemicals management, pointing out how one region or country potentially could drive misguided regulations into worldwide practice.
The EU’s proposed solution to chemicals management would create “a one-size-fits-all approach that is unwieldy, confusing and insensitive to economic reality,” Lebedev said. “The potential damage to the global economy, our employees and communities in which we operate, and yes, our shareholders, is enormous. Not to mention the possibility that otherwise safe products that have been regularly coming to market could disappear altogether or be delayed by the fog of this emerging regulatory regime.”
Lebedev says the ACC and the International Council of Chemical Associations have made efforts to improve the transparency of the industry and to make more information about chemicals available to the public. The Council also recently adopted several enhancements to the Responsible Care program that will further demonstrate the chemical industry’s commitment to improvements in health and environmental protection.
It is not clear how the $50 million budget will be split between advertising and PR.