Advertising trade publication appoints first sustainability editor

Adweek's Kathryn Lundstrom was previously the publication's sustainability reporter. She will cover news that intersects with climate change and sustainability issues.

Kathryn Lundstrom
Kathryn Lundstrom is the advertising industry's first sustainability editor, having pushed for the creation of a sustainability beat in August last year. Image: LinkedIn

Advertising trade publication Adweek has appointed the ad industry’s first sustainability editor.

The publication is promoting Kathryn Lundstrom, previously its sustainability reporter, to the new role. Lundstrom had proposed the idea of adding on a sustainability beat for the New York-headquartered title in August last year. Her new role signals the expansion of Adweek’s sustainability coverage.

Lundstrom, who joined the publication in 2019 as a breaking news reporter, will be covering the intersection of climate and advertising news. She told Eco-Business that she plans to ramp up Adweek’s sustainability-related story count, culminating in a sustainability special issue later in the year.

Among her most recently stories features an interview with Michael Mann, a climate scientist who inspired Leonardo DiCaprio’s role in the film Don’t Look Up. In the interview, Mann told Lundstrom that the world’s largest public relations firm Edelman must stop working with fossil fuels firms or risk trashing its image. 

Lundstrom’s appointment comes at a time of growing scrutiny on the advertising and communications industry for its role in driving up greenhouse gas emissions by creating consumer demand for carbon-intensive products.

While some smaller ad agencies have committed to avoid working for fossil fuels clients, the larger groups that dominate the market, such as WPP, Omnicom, and Dentsu, have been singled out by industry non-profits for continuing to promote big polluters despite pledges to green their own operations.

A report published by Clean Creatives and Comms Declare in September last year also highlighted the role that  large advertising and public relations firms play in greenwashing climate-harming brands.

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