All three agencies work on Unilever's Dove brand. Greenpeace delivered a copy of its latest report Burning Up Borneo to each of the agencies' headquarters.
The report claims that Unilever uses suppliers that are driving the destruction of Indonesia's rainforests and peatlands.
The charity also used staff dressed as orang-utangs to deliver a letter asking the agencies to put pressure on Unilever to change its practices.
As PRWeek went to press, Ogilvy declined to comment on the issue and JCPR had not returned calls. Meanwhile, Lexis provided a statement that read: ‘We respect Greenpeace's right to draw attention to the need for sustainable palm oil.
We share the same concerns as everyone else about the expansion of palm oil production and believe that Unilever... is helping to lead the way in searching for solutions.'
Unilever defended itself by releasing a statement underlining its commitment to finding a solution for the palm oil problem and stating that in November 2007 the body it chaired had agreed criteria for sustainable palm oil production.
Unilever's head of global media relations Trevor Gorin said the press team has focused on two key messages - demonstrating what had already been done, and explaining the company's sympathy to Greenpeace's cause.
‘THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING' SAYS CAMPAIGNER
‘Monday was a really positive start for our campaign. We visited the agencies that work with Dove because we want them to know that the brand that they promote is linked to rainforest destruction because of its use of palm oil.
Being socially and environmentally responsible should be an issue for leading PR companies, just as it has become so for many of their clients.
I was a little surprised at how defensive the agencies were, although they probably are not used to having orang-utans arriving in their offices in a normal working day. They aren't the main target for this work, though we do believe these agencies can play a positive role in changing Unilever's position.
I hope that once they read our report they'll realise what is at stake both for the climate and for species such as the orang-utan and will begin to lobby Unilever to respond positively to our campaign.
Greenpeace hasn't taken this approach before but as our work continues we may well continue to engage with other PR agencies that work with Unilever brands. This is just the beginning of our campaign.'