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messageAmnesty and their Communication gaffe
Posted by AnotherPaul 22 July, 2010 13:01


I read yesterday that Amnesty International have commissioned the communications agency Redwood to revamp their members magazine. Redwood also list Shell Oil as one of their clients, the very same Shell Oil that Amnesty campaigned against over the imprisonment and execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria during 1995.

I'm of the opinion that a human rights campaigners should vet who they work with and refuse to work with companies who have connections to businesses with less than spotless records on human rights.

If you'd like to read more on this I've posted about it here.

messageRe: Amnesty and their Communication gaffe
Posted by RosieH 22 July, 2010 16:04

In your post you write,

"If you’re a member or supporter of Amnesty International you might want to ask them why they’re working with Redwood."

I'm just wondering if you did before posting? That's not meant to be accusatory, I just genuinely wonder.

I do agree with you about the need to vet who you work with, but I wonder also about pragmatism: is there a viable alternative to Redwood who hasn't worked with someone less than squeaky clean? (there may well be, I just haven't looked into it yet)

messageRe: Amnesty and their Communication gaffe
Posted by AnotherPaul 23 July, 2010 11:42

Redwood could have worked with hundreds of slightly iffy businesses but to work with a business which Amnesty actually campaigned against (and Shell is still pictured as a target of campaigning on the Amnesty UK home page) should exclude them from being considered as partners to Amnesty.

I believe that Amnesty bestowing a contract on Redwood is a morally wrong. Redwood will be pleased as punch to have them as a client as it seems to infer they actually support the much loved and well supported Amnesty. If they did actually support Amnesty they wouldn't work for Shell would they? So Amnesty either messed up or consciously decided to not mind who else Redwood work with.

Working with organisations who are trying protect human rights, defend the environment or in gerneral make the world a better a place should be a priveldge bestowed on companies who actually care, not one's who seem to care when there's money in it.

messageRe: Amnesty and their Communication gaffe
Posted by Loz 23 July, 2010 12:37

I'm not a big fan of AI anyway. They lost their way and their focus many years ago.

messageRe: Amnesty and their Communication gaffe
Posted by RosieH 23 July, 2010 20:46

AP, I take that as a no then?

Have you contacted Amnesty about it?

messageRe: Amnesty and their Communication gaffe
Posted by apenn 24 July, 2010 01:38

Hi AnotherPaul,

You say that you read about this "yesterday," however the link in your article refers to another article dated 20 April 2006. According to the same source, Redwood won the Shell contract in 2007:
shell article

Seems entirely plausible to me that AI may have conducted due dilligence on its procurement and not have been able to predict the future.

PS- Can't take credit for this astute observation. Send your link to a friend of mine who noticed.

messageRe: Amnesty and their Communication gaffe
Posted by RosieH 26 July, 2010 13:39


AnotherPaul, this is a good example of why I asked whether you'd contacted Amnesty before casting aspersions. Oftentimes there's a very good answer, and this seems to be one of those times.

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