San Francisco (AFP)
FTI Consulting, which has already suspected controversial working methods, is one of the largest international public relations companies to advise banks, oil or agro-chemical industry, including Bayer, which swallows Monsanto in 2018.
Headquartered in Washington, FTI Consulting has over 4600 employees as well as offices around the world. Founded in 1982, it is presented as an "independent international business consulting company".
Its specialty helps organizations to manage change, reduce risk, and resolve conflicts, including those that can affect the reputation of their clients.
In 2018, FTI achieved a net profit of $ 150.6 million for a turnover of € 2 billion.
FTI Consulting Belgium is included in the European Union's Transparency Register, which lists the interest groups of the EU institutions.
It advises in the financial services, energy and environment, technology and telecommunications, competition, trade, health, agrochemistry, life sciences, consumer goods and cybersecurity. ,
His clients are Transparency, General Motors, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton, Novartis, but also Amazon, Facebook, Google …
The Strategic Communications Division is specialized in the use of communication to help companies achieve business + discrete goals.
When Bayer announced the acquisition of Monsanto in 2016, the FTI supported "preparing for the merger while working with Monsanto during the talks to manage the media interest in the deal," its website says.
The company claims to have been hired by "EuropaBio, the European Bio-Industries Association and its member companies" – including Bayer – when it was faced with a lack of understanding and acceptance of biotechnology in the plant. "
– Platform & Campaigns –
In particular, FTI "recommends development" and "designs" the online Growing Voices platform, Ed, which serves as a bank of positive third party GMO opinions.
The European Phytosanitary Industry Association (ECPA), another European lobby representing Bayer, is also part of FTI's customers.
For ECPA, the company is responsible for a "campaign against a European regulation" on pesticides, which consists, in particular, in "setting up a support network" and "maintaining positive public opinion" by organizing farm visits, debates and creative e-mail campaign , aimed at European legislators ".
EuropaBio and ECPA are also included in "Transparency".
In January, Ecological NGO EarthRights said that "consultants paid by Exxon" contacted their lawyers through "pretending journalists." This lawyer protects the American municipalities against the oil giant.
These two FTI employees reportedly worked for the westernwire.net website, which is in fact the offshoot of the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) representing the oil and gas industry.
FTI has told AFP that these accusations are "fake and misleading," relying on a statement by Western Wire, which ensures that a "pro-industry" post will never be hidden.
According to Huffington Post's online site, FTI has also designed an "anti-social" campaign for Delta Airlines, including through a website hosted on the same server as the FTI-related domain names.
"Our company did not create the content that is mentioned in this article and we do not manage the campaign that seems to be related to it," the company said.
? 2019 AFP