21 September 2002
MONSANTO'S PR FIRM RECEIVES SILVER INKWELL AWARDS
In a year that's brought us Enron and an almost unceasing diet of corporate sleaze it's rather fitting that the International Association of Business Communicators (Washington chapter) has awarded two 'Silver Inkwell Awards' to the PR firm at the heart of Monsanto's online dirty tricks campaigning.
Washington DC based The Bivings Group won the awards for "Excellence in the Electronic, Online, and Interactive Communications category" for it's work on two websites: Monsanto France and IssuesWatch.com. Monsanto France got the prize for "Best Site for an International Audience" while IssuesWatch.com won as the "Best Intranet Site for profit".
The article below about the award ceremony was written by Bivings' head of online PR, Todd Zeigler who earlier this year admitted to the BBC that someone "working for Bivings" or "clients using our services" had been involved in the dirty tricks campaign.
Here's the kind of services IssuesWatch offers Bivings' clients:
"Some of the most powerful message delivery tools used today are web-based and grassroots: online message boards, listservs, and web sites. IssuesWatch.com monitors these online communities and reports on their direction, growth and effectiveness."
"IssuesWatch.com identifies key third-party players and tracks their announcements, press releases, policy statements, events and other public activities. Campaign managers easily assess the activities and effectiveness of both allies and opponents."
In view of the poison pen campaign Bivings helped Monsanto mount via online message boards, listservs, and web sites, some 'Poisoned Inkwell Awards' might have been more appropriate.
How about a "Best Fake Site" Award for Bivings' work on CFFAR.org - the website of a fake agricultural institute that smeared biotech critics as terrorists?
Or a "Best Black Propaganda Site for profit" for Bivings' input to AgBioWorld?
For more on Monsanto's dirty tricksters see:
MONSANTO PR FIRM'S ADMISSION
The Bivings Group says e-mail was sent by someone "working for Bivings" or "clients using our services"
Newsnight on the Bivings campaign - BBC TV's Newsnight, 7 June 2002
There's a web of deceit over GM food, says George Monbiot - The Guardian, 29 May 2002
NEW SCIENTIST'S SPECIAL INVESTIGATION
New Scientist on the Bivings campaign - 15 June 2002
THE FAKE PERSUADERS
Corporations are inventing people to rubbish their opponents on the internet, says George Monbiot - The Guardian, 14 May 2002
SCIENTISTS IN A SPIN
How scientists have become embroiled in a PR dirty tricks campaign - letter to The Guardian, 16 May 2002
KERNELS OF TRUTH
Virulent criticisms were anything but academic - The East Bay Express, 29 May 2002
A dirty tricks campaign leads straight to the door of Monsanto's PR company - The Ecologist, May 2002
SEEDS OF DISSENT
Anti-GM scientists are facing widespread assualts on their credibility. Andy Rowell investigates who is behind the attacks - Big Issue, 15-21 April 2002
The Bivings Group Receives Silver Inkwell Awards
The Bivings Group recently won two Silver Inkwell Awards of Excellence in the Electronic, Online, and Interactive Communications category for it's work on Monsanto France and IssuesWatch.com. [http://www.issueswatch.com/] Monsanto France took home the prize for Best Site for an International Audience while IssuesWatch.com won as the Best Intranet Site for profit.
The Silver Inkwell Award is formal recognition from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Washington chapter and is judged by peers from IABC chapters around the nation. The Silver Inkwell Award represents an outstanding example of communications excellence.
The Silver Inkwell Awards recognizes outstanding achievements in 85 categories, including print, electronic, visual, interactive and video communication, graphics design, writing, new technologies, radio, television, and communication planning, audits, and campaigns, to name a few.
Amélie Juston, Jean-Anne Renshaw, Mohammed Haque and Ajit Verghese were invited to the Silver Inkwell Awards Gala on Thursday, September 12, 2002, at the National Press Club, Washington, DC, to receive Awards of Excellence.