Profile: Fleishman-Hillard

1- Name of NGO:


2- Brief & Mission:

Fleishman-Hillard, a worldwide PR firm, specializes in crafting innovative and tactical messaging for brand management, reputation enhancement, and both corporate and consumer marketing. In anticipation of its selection as the host for Cop28, the UAE enlisted the services of Fleishman-Hillard, a lobbying and PR agency, to champion its climate-focused initiatives.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

Allocating significant financial resources, the UAE has directed billions of dollars into green energy ventures, boasting the largest solar park on the globe, while simultaneously maintaining investments in fossil fuels. From September to October 2021, Fleishman-Hillard spearheaded media interactions to enhance the visibility of the UAE’s environmental endeavors. They orchestrated interviews with ministers, focusing on climate change and the nation’s ambitious target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Moreover, the United Arab Emirates’ office of public diplomacy has enlisted the services of Fleishman-Hillard to advance its space program’s image. This collaboration aims to promote the Emirati Mars probe’s launch, which took place on July 14th. We

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

The evident connection between the firm and the UAE indicates a direct relationship, suggesting that the UAE government enlisted the services of this firm for political purposes.

5- Sources of Funding:

According to records from the US Department of Justice, it is evident that starting from September of the previous year, just prior to the UAE being unveiled as the host for Cop28, the nation escalated its lobbying and public relations campaigns focused on environmental matters. This encompassed contracts worth a minimum of $126,500 with FleishmanHillard, with the purpose of generating a favorable overall image for the UAE. These efforts involved promoting assertions, like those about a government-affiliated Emirati company utilizing solar energy in the production of a portion of its aluminum.

6- Activities:

FleishmanHillard drafted a sequence of letters with the intention of suggesting the attendance of Emirati ministers at conferences and events in July of the previous year. A majority of these letters incorporated the statement, “The UAE is set to host Cop28 in the upcoming year and is engaged in Cop27 activities in Sharm el-Sheikh.” These actions were a component of an agreement between Fleishman and the UAE, where Fleishman made concentrated efforts to portray the UAE as an environmentally conscious nation.

7- NGO Leadership:

At Fleishman Hillard, John Saunders holds the position of President & Chief Executive Officer, while J.J. Carter serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Global operations.

8- Controversy:

Fleishman Hillard was employed by the UAE to serve as a conduit for the promotion of its Mars program. As outlined in a formal submission, the scope of this work encompassed activities such as media engagement with US-based journalists, sharing press releases related to the mission, and orchestrating interviews and briefings with spokespersons associated with the Mars endeavor. The document further highlights that these efforts aimed to enhance the UAE’s overall reputation by spotlighting its scientific progress, technological commitments, and innovations. This initiative, initiated on June 17 and slated to conclude by July 31, was allocated a budget of $24,000 and will be overseen by Kamilla Rahman, Steven Shaw, and Caitlin Teahan. Furthermore, Fleishman-Hillard disseminated a press release concerning the forthcoming launch of the UAE’s Mars probe.

9- Contact Details:

10- Classification/Blacklist:

Evidence indicates that Fleishman-Hillard, a firm specializing in lobbying and public relations, extended its services to the UAE to promote the country’s climate-centric endeavors while attempting to enhance its image regarding fossil fuels. Consequently, the firm has faced censure and found itself on a blacklist due to its connections with UAE governments.

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