FleishmanHillard International has won the competitive pitch to promote Canada's tar sands oil resource and its strong environmental track record.
The mission is to defuse critics in the U.S., Europe and Asia who believe the burning of that heavy oil greatly intensifies global warming.
The budget for the two-year campaign, which includes PR, advertising and social media outreach, could reach $22M. That sum has not yet been finalized, according to the Toronto Star.
"It was quite a competition," FH CEO Dave Senay said to O'Dwyer's about the win. "I think our ability to fully integrate communications and see the world with a 360-degree view was what put us over the top."
Canada wants to “better inform” other markets about its natural resources sector and ensure a “fact-based public dialog,” according to David Provencher, a government spokesperson.
The communications effort also will “raise awareness among decision-makers” of Canada as a “secure, reliable and responsible supplier of crude oil, natural gas and other natural resources,”
President Obama has yet to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which is supposed to transport Canada’s heavy oil to Gulf Coast refineries.