Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has put PR firms making environmental claims for their clients on notice. Watch what you promise and junk the hype.

She wrote to SEC chairman Gary Gensler on Dec. 14, informing him that more than half of the S&P 500 companies use environmental, social and governance metrics as part of executive compensation.

In her letter, the Massachusetts Democrat accuses Marathon Petroleum, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum of manipulating metrics and shifting goalposts to guarantee high bonuses for executives even when their companies cause environmental damage.

That may only be the tip of the melting iceberg. Warren wants the SEC to probe environmentally-friendly PR that is presented by companies and the promises to maintain stringent green quality standards.

If the SEC finds companies fail to live up to their environmental promises, Warren says they are in violation of the Securities Act of 1933, which bars corporations from making any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact.

Environmental PR people have been warned.

Trust tops science when it comes to leading the FDA. Healthcare and life sciences executives rate trustworthiness (71 percent) as the most important characteristic for the next Food and Drug Administration commissioner, far surpassing scientific knowledge (48 percent), according to a survey conducted by FTI Consulting’s strategic communications group.

That result may be a reaction to the Trump administration’s botched handling and politicalization of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stephen Hahn, Trump’s FDA commissioner, came under heavy fire for his misstatements about the benefits of blood plasma treatment for COVID-19, a bogus remedy that was touted by Trump.

Scientists criticized Hahn for undermining trust in the FDA in September 2020, a time when the COVID-19 death toll stood at 185K. COVID-19 deaths now top 800K.

President Joe Biden has nominated Robert Catliff, who served as FDA commissioner in the Obama administration, for the FDA post.

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Dec. 14 his opposition to Catliff due to his ties to the pharma industry. The cardiologist collected consulting fees from Biogen, Merck and Eli Lilly after leaving his federal post.

The Vermont Independent joins Sens. Joe Manchin and Richard Blumenthal in opposing Catliff.

Catliff’s nomination is in serious peril as the Democrats control the Senate by a sliver.

Peloton can’t catch a PR break. The stationary bike maker yanked the video featuring Chris Noth from its social media accounts after sexual assault allegations were lodged againt the actor.

It created that video after Noth’s character, Mr. Big on HBO’s “Sex in the City” sequel called “And Just Like That,” dropped dead from a heart attack while riding his Peloton.

The scene walloped Peloton’s stock.

Peloton shot a funny 40-second video of Noth and the fitness company’s instructor showing him very much alive. That post earned widespread positive media coverage. That spot is now history.

Noth has denied the assault allegations, but a Peloton spokesperson said the company takes every sex charge seriously.

That person added that Peloton was unaware of the charges when it featured Noth in the crisis response to the HBO reboot.