Ineos and Burson-Marsteller part company amid fracking controversy

Chemicals giant Ineos and Burson-Marsteller are understood to have parted company, as the former's fracking plans in the UK make the news.

Fracking: A still from a video created to explain Ineos' activities
Fracking: A still from a video created to explain Ineos' activities

Ineos, which until recently used Burson-Marsteller for public affairs support, has been in the headlines as it looks to undertake exploratory drilling and start fracking, the process of extracting shale gas from the ground.

Fracking has proved hugely controversial, with campaigners and several senior politicians opposing the move on environmental grounds.

Earlier this month Ineos successfully appealed a council decision to block it drilling a test well near Rotheram, South Yorkshire. Local MP Kevin Barron criticised the decision:

Ineos is also preparing to sue the Scottish Government for effectively banning fracking last year.

The Anglo-Swiss company, which generates around $60bn a year and operates in 24 countries, was among the major clients that moved to Burson shortly after Stephen Day joined the agency as UK public affairs MD in 2014.

Day was named UK CEO of Burson-Marsteller last year, and the agency has more recently merged with WPP stablemate Cohn & Wolfe.

UPDATE: It has since emerged that Day has been made redundant by Burson

According to the UK's ORCL lobbying register, Burson-Marsteller was representing Ineos in the UK in the first three months of 2018. Information for the second quarter of the year has not yet been published, either under the Burson-Marsteller or Burson Cohn & Wolfe name, although PRWeek understands that Ineos is no longer a client.

PRWeek contacted Burson-Marsteller, Cohn & Wolfe, Media Zoo – which handles the company’s PR - and Ineos itself, but none had responded at the time of publication.

Read next: 'It's very difficult to fight emotions with facts' - the hostile comms challenge of fracking

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