Another police report for misleading sustainability marketing

Do you call your business or product sustainable? Then watch out! This has landed BMW Denmark in trouble.

The Danish Consumer Ombudsman has today reported BMW to the police for misleading marketing about sustainability. The photo is from the Consumer Ombudsman’s website.

In recent months, the Consumer Ombudsman’s criticism of greenwashing and misleading marketing has caused much debate and uncertainty among Danish companies. Today, BMW Denmark has been reported to the police for marketing itself as the world’s most sustainable car manufacturer.

These cases show that companies need to be extremely cautious about using vague and unsubstantiated statements such as ‘sustainable’, ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘green’ in their communications.

Misleading marketing can have serious consequences for businesses. As well as undermining consumer confidence, it can lead to lawsuits, police reports and reputational damage.

Proving that you are the world’s most sustainable in your industry is exceptionally difficult, as it also requires both thorough and reliable data from your competitors and their subcontractors. This is the trap that BMW Denmark has fallen into.

Document your sustainability

A crucial factor in avoiding misleading marketing is documentation. Companies should be able to substantiate the claims they make about their sustainability efforts. This may include life cycle assessments, independent certifications or external assessments of company practices. By having concrete and reliable data, companies can back up their claims and avoid casting doubt on their honesty.

Credible communication about sustainability and ESG is essential to build trust with consumers if you want to truly support the green transition. When companies market themselves as sustainable, they need to document and substantiate their claims. If companies use sustainability as part of their strategic communication or marketing, consumers have a right to know what companies are actually doing to promote sustainability. By being open about their efforts and using accurate information, companies can avoid consumers feeling misled and instead build trust around their green initiatives.

Need for international coordination

While it’s important to have clear rules and guidelines at a national level, a coordinated approach across borders is also necessary. Harmonizing rules and standards for sustainability marketing at the EU level can help Danish companies avoid competitive disadvantages. By establishing common guidelines for sustainable marketing, we can ensure that companies operate under a level playing field and avoid unnecessary uncertainty.

On the one hand, Danish companies are at a disadvantage in international competition if they only have to comply with the Consumer Ombudsman’s requirements, but on the other hand, it can be an advantage for Danish companies if the Consumer Ombudsman’s strict requirements become internationally known. In some cases, it can be worth using in communication.

We have previously written about the Consumer Ombudsman’s greenwashing allegations creating legal uncertainty in Børsen.

Still not sure if your sustainability communication complies with the law?

As a PR agency with a focus on sustainability and ESG communication, we can help companies navigate this complex landscape and ensure their messages are credible and transparent.

If you are unsure whether your company is in violation of the Danish Marketing Practices Act, let’s have a non-binding conversation on +45 4142 3635 or We can help you assess how to communicate without breaking the law, and when in doubt, we work with lawyers who know the issues inside out.

Get a job in a PR agency: The path to working in public relations

A job in the PR industry means fast-paced and flexible work-life balance. But if you want to work in a PR agency in Copenhagen, for example, you should also be a Copenhagen resident.

If you have no practical experience with PR, read books about it! Preferably about journalism, as you’ll be talking to journalists a lot. Photo: Ben White, Unsplash.

Do you dream of working as a PR consultant in a PR agency? It can be an exciting and challenging career path for those who want to work in communications, media and stakeholder management. It’s also one of the fastest ways to gain lots of experience, as you’ll typically work with multiple customers from different industries. But the pace can also be fast and the demands are often high.

And because the pressure can be high in the PR industry, there is often a focus on work-life balance, and PR consultants in most agencies are allowed to work from home if the child needs to go to the doctor or whatever else gets in the way. This has been the case even before the corona crisis. However, it’s extremely rare for consultants to work 100% from home, so if you want to work in a PR agency in Copenhagen, for example, it’s best to be based in Copenhagen.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some important steps on the path to working in a PR agency and thriving in the industry. Whether you’re in training, a recent graduate or an experienced professional looking to make a career change, these tips and strategies are relevant to you.

Fun fact: There are many PR agencies based in Copenhagen, where easy access to meetings with authorities, politicians and organizations has traditionally been a high priority.

Build a strong foundational knowledge of PR
Before diving into applying for a job at a PR agency, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what PR entails. Read books, take online courses or attend workshops to learn basic PR theories and practices. The more you know about the PR industry, its trends and challenges, the better prepared you will be to impress during job interviews.

PR agencies are different – find the one that suits you
PR agencies can specialize in everything from classic product PR to political advocacy and in a wide range of industries, where knowledge can be an advantage. Our PR agency in Copenhagen specializes in B2B impact technology as well as IT and scaleups, so being a tech enthusiast with a business mindset can be an advantage.

Gain practical experience through internships
Hands-on experience is essential in the PR world. Apply for internships at PR agencies to build your experience and understanding of the industry. While it may be unpaid or paid less, internships are a great way to learn about the reality of the work and gain insight into the day-to-day operations of the agency. It can also lead to full-time employment if you impress with your effort and commitment. Show enthusiasm for being part of the team and take a humble approach to the tasks, take pride in the “bread and butter tasks” such as media monitoring, and don’t expect to be strategizing for large corporations right away. But every once in a while, ask if you can take on a more challenging task. It gives you bonus points.

Develop your communication skills
Communication is at the heart of the PR industry, so strong communication skills are essential. Work on improving your written, but also your oral communication skills – including the ability to write clear and compelling press releases, present ideas effectively and build good relationships with customers and the media.

Other essential skills that earn points are:

  • Customer service: PR is all about making customers happy so they stay customers. You can be the best story writer in the world, but if you’re pissing off customers, don’t expect a career as a PR consultant.
  • Sales: Since a large part of the job is selling story ideas to journalists, it’s an advantage if you have, for example, telephone sales on your CV.
  • General IT skills: They are essential. Without a solid foundation in IT skills, you’re seen as a bit of a dinosaur. Social media, Word, Google Docs, PowerPoint, Zoom, MS Teams, intranet time tracking, etc. are a must.
  • WordPress and SEO: If you can edit the content of a website and tweak it for keyword optimization, the agency feels confident that you’ll always have something to do – even if it’s at a standstill around Christmas or the summer months, when there can often be a little respite.
  • Political communication: PR is closely related to public affairs, and sometimes assignments arise where clients need to engage with authorities, so any political experience, such as stakeholder mobilization or political campaigning, is a big plus.

Stay up to date with the latest PR trends and technologies
The PR industry is constantly evolving and it’s important to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in the field. Follow relevant blogs, read PR publications and be aware of how social media, artificial intelligence and digital platforms affect PR practices. Show interest in and knowledge of the latest tools and methods as this can differentiate you in the job application process. ChatGPT and similar AI services are on the rise, so mastering such tools will be a definite advantage.

Build your professional network
As in other industries, your professional network can be an asset if you’re looking for a job as a PR consultant. For example, use social media sites like LinkedIn to connect with PR agency professionals and attend relevant professional and networking events. Be active in online discussions and participate in PR-related forums. The larger your network, the more likely you are to hear about job opportunities and get recommendations.

Working in a Copenhagen PR agency like ours, as well as others, requires a combination of education, experience and the right skills. By building a strong foundational knowledge of PR, building a professional network, gaining practical experience, developing your communication skills and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, you can increase your chances of landing an exciting position in a PR agency. Always remember to be persistent, committed and enthusiastic during your job search journey. Good luck to you!

How do you choose the right PR agency?

The best minds in the PR industry often gather in agencies, but there is a huge difference in what they specialize in, and this is one of several factors that greatly influence whether you end up choosing a PR agency in Denmark that can turn into a successful and long-term collaboration.

Finding and choosing the right PR agency can be a bit of a jungle. Photo: Isaac Quesada, Unsplash.

If you need to gain more control over your company’s visibility, reputation and influence in the market, a PR agency can be a great help. But there’s a big difference between them, so how do you choose the PR agency that best suits your business needs, goals and budget? Here are some tips on what to look for when choosing a PR agency in Denmark.

Is it really public relations you need?
First, you need to decide if you really need a PR agency. Or are you better off with an advertising agency, digital agency, web agency, marketing agency or media agency? PR agencies mainly cover strategic communication in the press, but often have more competencies than that. And while PR agencies can be very different, the other agencies are a whole other world – despite the overlap. Yes, unfortunately it’s a bit of a jungle!

PR agency specialization
When choosing a PR agency in Denmark, you should also consider whether they specialize in your type of business and industry. There’s a world of difference between creative press campaigns for a soft drink and crisis management of media coverage for a waste management company that has to navigate between many different political interests.
For example, if you run a B2B technology company, you should find an agency that has experience and knowledge of the area or IT and business media you want to get into – rather than a PR agency that works with design and fashion in the B2C market. There is a big difference in the type of skills required to hype a fashion collection versus positive coverage of the annual financial report in Børsen. Ask the PR agency about their past and current clients, their case studies and their results in your niche.

Big or small agency?
As a rule of thumb, large agencies (25+ employees) are more or less “full service”. This means that they can deliver everything from press coverage to media training, market analysis, external and internal communication, social media monitoring and management, and ad buying and development – moving into the core competencies of advertising and social media agencies etc. Big agencies don’t always have to be expensive, but as a general rule, you pay extra to have access to the “full package”.

Small agencies (1-10 employees) tend to be more specialized in certain areas and/or industries, where you can get a little more bang for your buck if you know what you need. So it might be worth looking a little harder to find a smaller PR agency that hits the mark when it comes to PR. your needs. If the agency is unable to solve a task, they often work with other specialists who can step in.

Research potential PR agencies
Once you have defined your goals and expectations, you can start researching potential PR agencies in Denmark. You can start by searching online:

“PR agency [B2C/B2B] + [din virksomheds branche]” … and consider geography if that’s important to you.

You can also ask your network or use platforms that match you with relevant PR agencies. Once you’ve made a list of potential candidates, check their websites, references and case studies to get an idea of their skills, experience and results. Be aware that PR agencies are less likely to have reference logos on their websites than many other types of agencies, as there is no tradition of disclosing which PR agency you use. Then ask the agency.

Assess chemistry and culture
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few PR agencies, you should have an initial in-person meeting to assess chemistry and culture. It’s important that you feel comfortable and confident with the PR agency you choose, as it will be a close collaboration. You also need to make sure the agency you choose understands your industry, your vision and your values. Ask questions about their working methods, their attitude towards creativity and innovation, their communication style and their reporting. PR consultants often work directly with company management – at least at the beginning of the relationship – because it gives the agency the best understanding of the company. However, it may be less important if it’s just a product that the agency needs to focus on – unlike thought leadership posts from the CEO of Børsen.

Compare offers and agreements
Once you’ve found a few agencies that meet your criteria, ask them to send you a quote for a contract – possibly a three-month pilot. A proposal should include a description of the services they will provide, the goals they will work towards, the strategies and tactics they will use, the resources they will use and the costs they will charge. An agreement should include a timeframe for the collaboration, a division of responsibilities between you and them, possibly a confidentiality clause and a termination clause. Compare the offers and agreements and choose the one that gives you the best value for money.

Is the most creative offer really what you need?
We all like to see creative campaigns for our business or product. But in our experience, it’s very rare that the most creative campaign proposals in offers are brought to life – either because they are too expensive or because they would require an unrealistic mobilization of stakeholders. So if you’re looking at quotes from three different PR agencies in Denmark and you’re leaning towards the one with the most creative proposal, think twice about whether that idea will realistically be realized. Or do you really need PR consultants who can consistently generate publicity every month from some relatively dry corporate messaging to the market? Because this is the kind of press work that the most creative consultants often get bogged down in!

Evaluate collaboration on an ongoing basis
After you’ve partnered with a PR agency, don’t just sit back and wait for the results. You should be actively involved in the process and evaluate the collaboration on an ongoing basis, because the agency has no chance of delivering if you don’t feed them updates on what’s happening in the business. Therefore, hold regular meetings with your PR agency to discuss progress, challenges and opportunities. Give feedback on their work and recognize their efforts. Measure the impact of their services based on your jointly selected KPIs and adjust the strategy as needed.

Choosing the right PR agency in Denmark is not an easy task, but it can be a powerful investment for your business if you find the right one. If you follow these tips, you’ll have a much better chance of finding consultants who can help you achieve your goals and add value to your business.

If you want to know more about what a PR agency specializing in B2B tech can do for you, read about our PR agency in Denmark or contact Mark Kjær for a unformal chat at or +45 4142 3635.

How to get press coverage of your ESG report without a shitstorm

In 2024, ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) reports will become mandatory for large companies in the EU. But ESG reports create both opportunities and risks for good and bad press, so how do you communicate the results to the press? Here are three tips.

You have to be careful, but it is possible to get positive press on your ESG report even if you are a black company. The first step is to be brutally honest about it. Photo: Zhang QC, Unsplash.

In the wake of the Consumer Ombudsman’s injunction on sustainable communication, many companies are facing a challenge: How to communicate ESG results with PR in the press so that they are received positively by the market and without the risk of greenwashing accusations?

Note: ESG is about more than climate, but climate is used as an example throughout the post for better readability.

In 2022, the Consumer Ombudsman issued greenwashing injunctions to a large number of companies, as they believed that the companies were violating the Marketing Act through their sustainability communication. Most companies did have sustainability initiatives, but they overused the words in their marketing to a degree that didn’t match their efforts.

At its core, the Consumer Ombudsman is based on the Brundtland Report’s interpretation of the word sustainability, which in short means that a company’s activities must not harm future generations. This means that the company must be at least carbon neutral in its operations (which is just one of many areas) – and that’s virtually impossible without planting trees or buying carbon credits.

Read how our PR agency helps with sustainability communication.

It’s a strict interpretation that means that a lot of companies are currently breaking the marketing law even though they haven’t received an injunction.

There are two main areas where companies are breaking the law:

1) They use terms such as “sustainable”, “eco-friendly” and “green” in their marketing, which according to the Consumer Ombudsman is far too general and imprecise (a car manufacturer that has cut CO2 emissions by 50% does not mean that consumers can drive “green”).

2) They don’t have third-party evidence to back up their claims. For example, if you have been awarded a Nordic Swan Ecolabel, you can market it. But it’s forbidden to slap a generic term like “sustainable” on your face cream.

Avoid the pitfalls of ESG report communication

We are in a time when corporate responsibility and sustainability must not only be practiced, but also demonstrated and there is an obligation to communicate it. ESG reports are a key tool for this, but also bring challenges.

If you’re a greentech company, our PR agency package may be able to help you.

The Consumer Ombudsman’s sustainable communication mandate requires more than just sustainability claims. Companies now need to substantiate their claims and avoid ‘greenwashing’. So how can your company adapt to these new requirements and how can a PR agency help communicate your ESG reports in a credible and effective way?

1) Understand the ESG reportBe aware of whether the company has prepared a thorough and complete ESG report and any gaps and areas of weakness. One option is to work with an ESG-focused PR agency that can help you take a critical look at the ESG report and lay the foundation for strategic communication.

Read Kemp & Kjær’s ESG report here.

2) Be honest and transparentESG-PR: In your ESG-PR, it is essential to be honest about your company’s sustainability weaknesses. This will not only help you comply with legislation, but also build trust with your customers and stakeholders.

A concrete manufacturer that claims to be environmentally friendly because it has invested billions in reducing CO2 emissions is the subject of a shitstorm. Conversely, a concrete manufacturer that calls itself an environmental pig and therefore works to reduce its CO2 emissions is sympathetic.

3) Communicate clearly and concisely: Have you reduced your plastic consumption by 11.5%? So tell us you’ve reduced your plastic consumption by 11.5% and where you know it from. Steer clear of “Significantly less plastic” or “CO2 friendly”. By working with a PR agency, you can ensure that your ESG communication is understandable, free from unnecessary technical language and free from potential media crisis bombs.

Before you trumpet your ESG credentials, it’s worth asking to what extent ESG is integrated into your business strategy. Is sustainability considered in all aspects of your business and communication? It promotes genuine engagement, demonstrates concrete actions and means you can worry less about sharing your ESG initiatives publicly.

Still not sure? Talk to an ESG-focused PR agency

ESG reports bring both challenges and opportunities. By taking the Consumer Ombudsman’s injunction seriously, you’ve come a long way. You can significantly minimize risks by working with a PR agency that specializes in ESG PR and communication to help your company navigate the challenges, but also build a stronger and more credible sustainability profile.

To learn more about how a PR agency can help your company understand and communicate your ESG reports, please contact Mark Kjær on +45 4142 3635 or

Read more about our “3-in-1” package for B2B impact technology that our PR agency focuses on.

See our list of grants for green projects here.

What is regenerative business and how to communicate it without greenwashing?

Sustainability has been the buzzword in business for the past decade. But recently, a new word has taken off. Now we have to be “regenerative”, but do you dare to communicate about it after the Consumer Ombudsman’s many orders to companies for greenwashing?

Photo: There is a new regenerative movement underway in agriculture, where more people are looking to use different techniques to, among other things, make the soil capture more CO2.

What does it mean for companies to be regenerative and what should corporate press and marketing departments be aware of when communicating about it?

First, consider the definition of sustainable

It’s easier to understand the meaning behind regenerative if you start with the word “sustainable”. Here we take the Consumer Ombudsman’s understanding of the term, which comes from the Brundtland report where the term was defined. This definition has led to a large number of companies being accused of greenwashing since 2022 (and there are almost certainly many, many more at risk of criticism).

Do you have a greentech business? Then our PR agency may be able to help you.

The definition simplified:

A product or company can call itself sustainable if it can get external proof that it does not harm future generations.

This means, for example, that it must have zero CO2 emissions, zero use of chemicals – even no driving to and from meetings, as that means no CO2 in the atmosphere (even electric cars need to be charged with 100% renewable energy if they are to last. And what about the production of the car in the first place?) In principle, the lunch must be picked from the garden, where no pesticides are used, if the company is to meet the definition. Unless, for example, the company plants a lot of trees to compensate.

This is a rather strict interpretation of the word sustainable, but it is the interpretation we should get used to after the Consumer Ombudsman’s tightened practice.

But what can you say?

It’s okay to say that your company is undertaking sustainability initiatives, as long as it’s actually doing it. But calling your company or product sustainable in a general sense is not okay in 99.99% of all cases. This is considered a breach of marketing law (but note that future rulings may change this interpretation).

Read more about sustainability communication here.

So what is regenerative?

Regenerative business is about more than being sustainable. It’s about rebuilding and regenerating natural resources and social systems, instead of focusing only on minimizing negative impacts.

This is a significant change from the previous approach, which for years viewed sustainability as a burden or something that only needed to be implemented to comply with rules and regulations.

But becoming regenerative is not an easy task. It requires a fundamental shift in business practices and a deep understanding of the systemic implications of a company’s operations, its product lifecycle and its choice of suppliers. Companies must not only limit their negative impact, but also contribute positively to, for example, the climate, while running a business that doesn’t make a loss.

An example of a regenerative measure could be increasing the number of naturally occurring plateaus in a forest to capture more CO2 and increase biodiversity.

How do you communicate about sustainable and regenerative initiatives?

The Consumer Ombudsman’s strict interpretation of sustainability has caused several companies to slow down their sustainability communication. But it shows that they haven’t quite understood what it means, because you can communicate legally about sustainability initiatives if you do it in a balanced way.

Regenerative initiatives can give a boost to a company’s image, but marketing and PR teams need to be very careful not to just slap “regenerative” on products as a new buzzword to get attention. There must be a genuine commitment to changing the way the company operates and making a positive contribution to the world.

If the word “regenerative” is used in marketing, the company must be able to provide documentation that it delivers a net-positive impact on the climate, and this must be confirmed by external consultants – typically via an LCA (life cycle analysis).

On the other hand, it is easier to communicate – e.g. in press releases – that you have ambitions to cultivate regenerative initiatives in your company and what those initiatives are. As long as the company is honest and aware of where it may be harming the environment and climate – and also informs about it.

Communication around regenerative initiatives must be transparent, honest and reliable. Companies need to be able to demonstrate that they “walk the talk”. They need to be able to prove that they are taking the necessary actions and investments to become regenerative – especially if it’s used in marketing.

See our overview of grants for green projects here.

ESG reporting documents companies’ actions

But how do you prove your company’s regenerative actions? It does this by regularly reporting on progress and results. In the future, this will typically be done through ESG reporting, which must be done through the financial statements, where the information is easily accessible to stakeholders and shows how the company contributes to rebuilding and regenerating natural resources and/or social systems.

It’s important to highlight that the transition to regenerative operations is a long-term process that requires long-term commitment. Companies need to communicate that they are committed to continuing their regenerative efforts for the long term, even when things get challenging.
This means that, so far, there are only a few companies worldwide that can truly call themselves regenerative.

Read our own ESG report here.


Becoming regenerative is more than just a buzzword or branding strategy. It’s a fundamental shift in how businesses operate and interact with the world around them. For PR teams, this means a change in how company actions and commitments are communicated. But with the right approach, regenerative operations can not only improve a company’s image, but also contribute positively to the world, and those who crack the code to do so profitably are likely to be hugely successful in the future.

Still unsure about what you can communicate about regenerative initiatives?

Give us a no-obligation call on +45 4142 3635 or write to and we can guide you on your way. Our expertise is PR and communication, and we may involve other consultants if the issue goes beyond our field.

Read more about our “3-in-1” solution for B2B impact technology, which our PR agency specializes in.