Chemical industry aims to boost image

NEW YORK: The American Chemistry Council (ACC) last week launched an integrated public education campaign to raise the chemical industry's image and reputation.

NEW YORK: The American Chemistry Council (ACC) last week launched an integrated public education campaign to raise the chemical industry's image and reputation.

The trade association is working with Ogilvy PR and APCO Worldwide, as well as ad agency Ogilvy & Mather.

It plans to spend about $35 million over two years. Stephen Gardner, ACC senior director of communications, noted that PR would be a larger piece than the traditional 80%-20% breakdown.

The campaign, dubbed essential2, kicked off Thursday at a luncheon with about 12 CEOs of major chemical companies, such as Dow, BASF, Bayer, and DuPont.

The executives also were expected to conduct media interviews throughout the day.

"This is a campaign that has had tremendous support ... from the highest levels," said Jamie Moeller, MD of Ogilvy PR's global public affairs practice. "When you have a great story to tell, you should go out and tell it as aggressively as possible."

Moeller noted that ACC launched the first part of the campaign in January, when it began reaching out to the employees of its member companies and educating them about the initiative and how they could get involved.

A new website, www.americanchemistry.com, will also serve as the centerpiece of the campaign.

"The problem that we see out there is a real lack of understanding of chemicals and chemistry," Gardner said.

Messages will stress the economic, health, and community benefits that chemical companies contribute.

The campaign will be broken into seven regions throughout the country, and outreach will be tailored geographically.

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