Asia Pulp & Paper greenwashes on bravely (guest post)

A guest post from Brendan May. From his excellent blog:

In recent weeks Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) seems to have all but given up on PR (getting others to say you’re good) and reverted to the time honoured tradition of buying up as much advertising space as possible (you saying you’re good).

My Saturday must-read, The Week magazine, is now defaced by whole page ‘APP Cares’ ads on biodiversity in every issue.

Sky TV, whilst in partnership with WWF on rainforest conservation, runs greenwashing spots from APP at every opportunity. In Australia, APP has resorted to the blunt and aggressive (and counter-productive), as you can see here.

Could this per chance have anything to do with the loss of one of APP’s biggest customers down under in recent weeks? Metcash deserves wholesome praise for doing the right thing and acting fast. See http://tiny.cc/4t8yz

Writing from Holland, my mother informs me that the APP greenwash fiesta is in full swing on Dutch TV. The old ‘we plant trees’ joke, apparently. She makes the point that no Dutch consumers have ever heard of APP (the same applies throughout Europe) and asks why they would spend so much advertising a brand no-one can buy directly.

I have no answer to this. One of the many mysteries of APP’s communications strategy (see past posts) is that in raising its profile among audiences to whom it was previously unknown, it recruits new foes almost by the hour, since anyone who looks up APP after seeing one of their nonsensical ads will instantly see for themselves what this charade is all about.

If I were APP, I’d shut up about the environment.

This company is fast becoming a major embarrassment to the whole Indonesian corporate sector. Perhaps the Indonesian government will exert some pressure and make its bosses see sense.

Meanwhile, a Texas-based advertising agency seems totally oblivious to the nonsense they are peddling for their client. Presumably APP couldn’t find an ad agency in any of America’s coastal cities. WARNING – don’t read this if you’re already in a bad mood. Too ghastly for words really.

So, do keep your eyes peeled for more APP greenwash in the weeks ahead. They seem to think it helps them. And do encourage broadcasters and print media not to take this tarnished advertising revenue.

I had hoped APP might have moved in the right direction by now, as customers continue to look elsewhere and NGOs expose an ever worsening tale of greenwash. Sadly it seems we shall have to wait a little longer.

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