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Yannick Bolloré, Climate’s Newest Champion, Boldly Teams Up with Shell for a Greener Wallet

“B Corps should not be producing marketing and PR for the world’s biggest polluters.”

Posted by John Donovan: 24 Jan 24

Oh, the sweet, sweet irony! Here we have Yannick Bolloré, our gallant hero and CEO of the Havas Group, casually chilling on the French Riviera, all the while juggling his gold pendant and an impressive collection of wristbands that scream ‘I care about the Earth’. But wait, what’s this? His company, Havas – a tiny, almost insignificant global ad agency with mere revenues of 2.3 billion euros – has decided to buddy up with Shell, the world’s fifth-largest oil company. Talk about an unexpected plot twist!

In an adorable twist of fate, Bolloré, the youthful prodigy of the Bolloré empire, known for their long, loving embrace of the fossil fuel industry, has been seen breaking bread (or should we say, breaking oil?) with Shell. A match made in heaven, if you ask me, considering Havas’s history of not working with oil and gas clients. Oh, wait…

It seems our climate-conscious CEO was blindsided by the news, just like everyone else. The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative was so shocked they cancelled their contract with Havas. How could they not see the love story between Havas and Shell coming?

But the plot thickens! Havas’s B Corp certifications are now on the line, with B Lab Global launching a formal investigation into this blossoming romance. Is it true love, or did Havas swipe right on Shell just for the looks (and the money)?

Whispers in the corridors of Havas UK suggest that the decision to court Shell came from the very top. Poor local leaders, like Patrick Affleck, Xavier Rees, and Mark Whelan, were left to watch the relationship unfold, powerless to intervene in this love affair dictated by the Parisian headquarters.

The staff at Havas UK were understandably aflutter when they heard the news. So much so, that Extinction Rebellion and Indigenous activists staged a die-in at Havas London, leading to an evacuation that was probably more exciting than their usual fire drills.

In the end, Havas may have to bid farewell to its B Corp status, and the whole ordeal could be a major blow to the B Corp movement. Duncan Meisel from Clean Creatives dramatically states, “B Corps should not be producing marketing and PR for the world’s biggest polluters.” But hey, who doesn’t love a little controversy in the name of love (and money)?

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