Viewpoint: Bayer shouldn’t have apologized for Monsanto effort to gather data on pesticide regulators, journalists

Bayer Monsanto fusion

Senior PR industry figures have questioned Bayer’s handling of its stakeholder mapping crisis, focusing their concern on the high-profile suspension of Monsanto agency FleishmanHillard.

After claims in [French Newspaper] Le Monde that Monsanto and its agencies — led by FleishmanHillard …. had breached French data privacy laws during the campaign to renew its glyphosate license in Europe (the key ingredient in controversial pesticide RoundUp), Bayer publicly apologised.

The German multinational then announced it had suspended Fleishman from communications and public affairs work with its crop science division, which now includes Monsanto, before …. appointing legal counsel and suggesting it may “exit” its contract with the …. PR firm.

In response, senior industry professionals have expressed sympathy for Fleishman’s predicament, not only because of the routine nature of stakeholder mapping, but because Bayer’s response may have complicated matters further ….

“It’s weird that a company would apologies up front and repeat unsubstantiated claims from journalists before they have investigated,” said a global public affairs professional familiar with the situation. “I think there are layers here, with NGOs trying to undermine elements of Monsanto’s glyphosate campaign, and internal politics in terms of the new Bayer/Monsanto dynamic.”

Read full, original article: “An Element Of Panic”: PR Industry Responds To Bayer/FleishmanHillard

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