Asia Pulp & Paper calls pitch for a global PR agency

Asia Pulp & Paper has launched a hunt for a public relations agency to handle its global communications account.

The controversial Asian paper giant only appointed the incumbent agency Edelman last year after ending its six-year-long relationship with Cohn & Wolfe. The pitch is expected to conclude at the end of November.

The company has seen its communications department undergo a number of shake-ups over the last 12 months. This time last year, APP’s vice president for corporate affairs Jose Raymond left the company after just eight months to launch his own agency – Spin. 

Ten months later, APP’s head of global communications Randy Salim also left the Asian company after less than two years. His departure coincided with the appointment of SPRG Singapore, which was tasked with helping APP promote its “firefighting and haze prevention efforts”.

For years, APP has been under sustained attack by environmental groups, including Greenpeace, for its green record. The company has been particularly attacked for its contribution to bad air quality – known as the haze – in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia as a result of land clearance and burning in Sumatra where APP operates as one of the world’s largest paper and pulp operations.

In 2015, the company was forced to withdraw the toilet tissue brand Paseo after losing the right to carry the Singapore’s National Environment Agency green label.

This year saw the departure of sustainability chief Aida Greenbury, one of APP’s most high-profile figures, who had spent the past 13 years fighting activist groups over allegations of mass environmental degradation.

Greenbury’s exit was followed by the arrival of Bernard Tan, a former Singapore military general, who was named managing director for corporate affairs and sustainability in APP, and country president for Sinar Mas in Singapore.


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