UK Green Activists Miffed That WPP's Read Is Now A CBE

The reaction was a bit delayed, but it looks like environmentalists in the UK have woken up to the fact that WPP CEO Mark Read was awarded the rank of Commander of the Order of the British Empire at the beginning of the year.  

And they’re not happy about it according to a report in the London daily newspaper The Mirror that was published over the weekend.  

They’re angry because WPP works for BP, Shell, ExxonMobil and other “major polluters.”  



Particularly galling is that King Charles holds himself out to be “eco-friendly,” per the report. 

At least officially, the King gives the final okay on who gets to be CBE. Numerous people apply or are nominated each year and a few dozen receive the award as part of the King’s New Years Honours. Nick Emery, the former Mindshare CEO also won this year but there was no mention of him in the report. 

The paper quoted the head of UK’s Green Party, Caroline Lucas, as saying “As we descend ever more rapidly into a climate crisis, the last people we should be rewarding are those colluding in the destruction of our one precious planet.” 

Also quoted was Andrew Simms, with climate think-tank New Weather Institute: “WPP is floating on a polluted sea of fossil fuel contracts ... Advertising has to stop fueling climate breakdown, and that means dropping polluter clients and an end to adverts for high-carbon products and lifestyles.”  

Read has been called out before on WPP’s service to such clients and his response has been that they have a right to tell their side of the story. 


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