WASHINGTON: Ketchum, Dezenhall Resources, and Dow Chemical continued to decline to comment following the filing of a lawsuit by Greenpeace earlier this week against the companies for corporate espionage.
The lawsuit alleges that Ketchum, Dezenhall Resources, Dow, Sasol North America-owned Condea Vista, and four former employees of a private security firm used “unlawful means” to obtain confidential information about Greenpeace's activities, including its communications plans and financial reports, from 1998 to 2000.
Ray Kotcher, senior partner and CEO at Ketchum, said in a statement: “Though we have not officially been served with the complaint, we are taking this very seriously and are investigating. It is important to understand that the alleged activity occurred more than 10 years ago. However, based on what we know today, I have no reason to believe any of our employees engaged in any unlawful conduct.”
Greg Baldwin, who works in corporate media relations at Dow, said in an e-mail: “Since we have not been served with the suit, we are not in a position to comment about these alleged activities of over a decade ago.”
Eric Dezenhall, cofounder and CEO of Dezenhall Resources, said in an e-mail: “We have not seen the filing. All we know is what we read in news reports. We can't comment on matters in litigation.”
Sasol could not be reached for comment.
Greenpeace is alleging that the PR firms – at that time, Ketchum worked with Dow and Dezenhall worked with Condea Vista – acted as intermediaries for Beckett Brown International (BBI), a now defunct private security firm, on behalf of their clients. The firms allegedly received monthly invoices from BBI, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Washington on November 29.