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Kudos to Havas! Because Nothing Screams ‘Ethical’ Like Partnering with Big Oil

Posted by John Donovan: 22 October 2023

Oh, what a time to be alive! The ever-glorious and virtuous B Corp-certified agency, Havas, known for its undying commitment to ethical operations, has taken a brave leap into new realms of “ethics.” By choosing to partner with Shell – the beloved eco-friendly giant known (in some very narrow circles) for its deep love for the environment – Havas has demonstrated its sheer commitment to… well, we’re not sure yet, but surely it’s something great!

For those unfamiliar, B Corp certification is the business world’s answer to a halo. Once you’re certified, you’re basically business-angel status, joining the revered ranks of such eco-saints as Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia. A bit like getting a gold star in primary school for picking up litter, but shinier.

Now, Havas, being the pioneering leader they are, became the first of the “big six” global agencies to secure this certification in 2018. And since then, they’ve had their ethical halo shining so brightly, one would need sunglasses to look directly at them.

But plot twist! Recently, the agency caught everyone off guard when it won Shell’s global media buying account. Environmentalists around the globe were left agog. The burning question: How could an agency, so staunchly ‘for the good’, pair up with a fossil fuel emperor? It’s a bit like Batman teaming up with The Joker, but, you know, for environmental purposes.

And it’s not just us common folk having a gasp. Last week, 26 fellow B Corp angels joined forces, wielding their pens of justice, to file an official complaint letter to B Lab. Their noble request? That agencies partnering with fossil fuel legends should gracefully drop their halos (read: lose their certification).

But let’s pause for a moment. Havas has a defense! They’re quick to remind the world that their work with Shell will predominantly focus on electrifying motor travel. So, fear not! It’s not about fossil fuel; it’s about… battery-charged fuel? Seems legit.

In conclusion, if Havas can bridge the gap between the ethics of B Corp certification and the toxic reputation of Shell, more power to them! It’s always heartwarming to see companies embarking on their own unique ethical journeys – no matter how convoluted or puzzling those paths may seem.

P.S. Shell, should you find any misrepresentations here, do chime in. We’re all ears.

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