—Havas Media Network will take over Shell’s media business in January 2024.—
By Imogen Watson
Activists from Extinction Rebellion and representatives of Indigenous groups have staged a “die-in” at Havas’ London office to symbolize the deaths it claims occur as a result of its oil company client, Shell.
The protesters have labelled Havas Shell’s “new greenwasher-in-chief,” and argue that its B Corp status is at odds with its relationship with the brand.
Havas Media Network will take over Shell’s global B2C strategic buying in January 2024, replacing incumbent WPP’s Group M.
The deal sparked a backlash against Havas, and resulted in the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative deciding to walk away from its short-term contract with the agency’s communications subsidiary, Red Havas.
The protesters blocked the main doors of the agency’s office, lying on the ground shrouded in white sheets to signify dead bodies.
The “mass die-in” marks the beginning of Extinction Rebellion’s campaign to encourage Havas to cut ties with Shell.
Katie Burrell, an Extinction Rebellion campaigner, said: “Without the skill and creativity of agencies like Havas, Shell and the other fossil fuel companies driving the accelerating climate crisis with their supplies of oil, gas and coal would be revealed for what they really are – criminals who are destroying our future.
“Havas will help them produce communications and media campaigns to convince the world that they are part of the solution to the climate emergency, not one of the main causes.”
She added: “We encourage the people of Havas to use their voice and join our new campaign to ‘Rebel for truth’.”
Havas Media Network has been approached for comment.
This article originally appeared at Campaign UK.