WASHINGTON: Chevron has cut ties with both Ogilvy Government Relations and Ogilvy PR after a representative of the PR agency reportedly spoke with a group advocating for the preservation of the Ecuadorian rainforest.
Both contracts will be absorbed by other firms that work with the energy company, Dave Samson, general manager of public affairs at Chevron, told PRWeek. He declined to say which agencies will take on additional duties.
Samson did not comment on whether the company specifically terminated the contracts because the Ogilvy representative spoke to the advocacy group Amazon Watch. Instead, he noted that Chevron discovered a conflict of interest with Ogilvy that could not be resolved, thus making the relationship untenable.
“It is clear some parties want to distort the facts to minimize the serious nature of the conflict that forced us to take this action. As has been reported, we uncovered a serious, material conflict of interest with Ogilvy. Our decision to terminate our relationship was not taken lightly,” Samson said. “It's also important to note that our decision was in no way a reflection on the people at Ogilvy who worked day-to-day on our business. They were good partners. Any effort, by some, to minimize this issue is unfair to these people.”
An Ogilvy representative confirmed that the two parties have split, but declined to comment further, noting that it was primarily a personnel matter.
Bloomberg reported on Friday that Felipe Benitez, an account director at Ogilvy PR, gave a presentation last month to Amazon Watch on environmental defense strategic communications. Amazon Watch, which advocates on behalf of indigenous peoples in that region, has been highly critical of Chevron's activities.