Scotts: Influence / Lobbying

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Lobby Groups

Scotts is a member of the following lobby groups in the US:

   * Crop Life America[52] (formerly the American Crop Protection Association)
     This group claims to represent the developers, manufacturers, formulators and distributors of plant science solutions for agriculture and pest management in the United States. According to the organisation’s website, its member companies produce, sell and distribute virtually all the crop protection and biotechnology products used by American farmers.[53] The group has a biotechnology committee which acts as the legislative, regulatory and public affairs voice for the plant biotechnology industry.[54] The group's list of member companies reads like a Who’s Who of chemical and agri-biotech baddies and can be found at: More information on this organisation's sinister activities can be found at

   * RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)[55]
     RISE is a lobbying and public relations trade organization founded to defend “urban usage” of pesticides. This includes pesticides used in homes and schools (on termites, fleas, cockroaches, etc.) landscape uses, and urban pest and vegetation control. The group is dedicated to providing “a strong unified voice for the specialty pesticide industry”, promoting a positive public image and opinion, and promoting the use of “industry products”.[56] According to the group's website it “provides information to key lawmakers whose decisions affect the entire industry” and “educates legislators about the benefits of specialty pesticide and fertilizer use and the risks posed by pests, that left untreated can cause serious health and safety threats”. It also boasts of having “an excellent working relationship with the EPA”. Its core members include Monsanto, DuPont, and Dow AgroScience.[57] More information regarding this group’s appalling history can be found at:

   * Grocery Manufacturers of America[58]
     GMA is the world’s largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies.[59] According to the group's website it “advances the interests of the food, beverage and consumer products industry on key issues that affect the ability of brand manufacturers to market their products profitably” and influences “public policy (both federal and state, legislative and regulatory) to secure the most cost-effective statutory and regulatory framework”.[60] The organisation has consistently lobbied against the labelling of food in the interest of consumers, arguing that consumers are protected by existing safety legislation. The group argues that labelling foods containing GM ingredients, produced using bovine growth hormone and containing pesticides merely serves to “needlessly frighten” consumers.[61] For more information on the group see:

   * BIO (Biotechnology Industry Association) [62]
     According to the group's website, BIO is the world's largest organisation representing the biotech industry, representing more than 1,000 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, biotechnology centres and related organisations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations. The group also boasts of providing “aggressive advocacy in the halls of Congress and the White House.”[63]

Scotts is a member of the following lobby groups in the UK:

   * Garden Industry Manufacturer's Association[64]
     According to the group's website,its basic objective is “to promote and protect the commercial, trading and industrial interests of UK and EU based companies supplying the UK garden industry.” It achieves this, in part, “by representing the opinions and views of garden product suppliers, both within the industry and to other bodies and associations, and as the need arises, to the media and government”.[65]

   * Growing Media Association (formerly the Peat Producers Association)[66]
     According to the organisation's website its objectives include representing “the interests of the growing media industry to Government, Government bodies, consumers and other organisations.” The organisation has consistently downplayed the wildlife value of peatlands and the role of horticulture in their destruction.[67]

Back to top Influencing research and education

Through its 'Give Back to Grow' classroom gardener awards, Scotts has tried to ensure that children in classrooms all over the US have positive associations with its brand from an early age. Scotts also supports a variety of community initiatives in order to paint itself as a 'good corporate citizen.' One of the company's projects is an Urban Garden Academy in Columbus, Ohio which teaches volunteers how to establish community and urban gardening programs that help “to turn vacant lots and rundown parks into beautiful green spaces”. No doubt using a fine array of Scotts' pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers and peat products.

Scotts is an 'sustaining associate' of the American Phytopathological Society (APS). This is a non-profit, professional, scientific organisation dedicated to the study and control of plant diseases.[68] Influencing Higher Education As part of their coursework, students from the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University had to take part in a product concept competition for Scotts’ next Ortho Weed-B-Gon marketing campaign. The students had to come up with a concept statement for Weed-B-Gon with Scotts using the winning team’s ideas in a subsequent advertising campaign.[69]

Scotts is a sponsor of the Center for Business Research at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.[70] The centre assures businesses that through it they can “secure direct access to the full resources of the University”.[71] Scotts offers various scholarships including one in Landscape Design/Build at Columbus State Community college and one in Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida.[72] A representative of Scotts sits on the executive board of the Center for Retailing Excellence, Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas. The centre was established in 1998 “to bridge the gap between university faculty, students and the retail industry”. Members of the Center’s executive board also include representatives from Bristol-Myers Squibb; Coca-Cola; and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.[73]

Back to top Links with government

Scotts' director Arnold W. Donald was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the President's Export Council for International Trade.[74]

Public Relations

"If there's a better business to be in please let us know" "There's no better company than Scotts"” - James Hagedorn, Scotts president and CEO[75]

Scotts' Give Back to Grow report makes truly fascinating reading. It paints a picture of a company striving for environmental and social justice, helping disadvantaged communities to better their environments and generally helping to make the world more beautiful.[76]

Scotts has worked hard to build itself an image of a 'good corporate citizen' by supporting a variety of community projects throughout North America and Europe.[77]

PR companies

PR companies that Scotts have retained in the US include:

Lord, Sullivan & Yoder (LSY) 250 Old Wilson Bridge Road Columbus Ohio 43085-0800 Tel: 614.846.8500 Fax: 614.846.2679 Website: LSY strategically wrote the company's 2000 Annual Report “to convey key messages about Scotts' financial accomplishments.”[78]

and in the UK:

Weber Shandwick Worldwide Aldermary House 15 Queen Street London EC4N 1TX Tel: 020 7329 0096 Fax: 020 7329 6009 Email: website: The company's other clients include Coca-Cola, DuPont and Nestlé.[79]

Back to top Advertising agencies [80]

Scotts relies heavily on advertising to create demand for its products (see Strategy). Advertising agencies that Scotts have retained in the US include:

Momentum 7777 Bonhomme Ave # 1000 St Louis, Missouri Tel: (314) 290-4800

and in the UK:

BMP DDB Ltd 12 Bishops Bridge Road London W2 6AA Tel: 020 7258 3979 Fax: 020 7402 4871 Website: BMP DDB Ltd is involved in the advertising of the Fisons, Miracle-Gro and Levington brands. Its other clients include Exxon Mobil, Unilever and Oxfam.

BJK & E Media 25 Wellington Street London WC2E 7DA Tel: 020 7379 8080 Fax: 020 7240 0792 Email: BJK & E Media is a media buying specialist and its other clients include TotalFinaElf and J.P. Morgan.

Carat Ltd Parker Tower 43-49 Parker Street London WC2B 5PS Tel: 020 7430 6000 Fax: 020 7430 6299 Email: Website: Carat Ltd is a media buying specialist and is involved in the advertising of the company's Levington brand. Other clients include TotalFinaElf and Pfizer.

FSW Group Ltd Manor Farm Barns Fox Road Framingham Pigot Norwich NR14 7PZ Tel: 01508 491 400 Fax: 01508 494 088 email: FSW Group Ltd is involved in advertising for Scott's UK Professional segment. The company's other clients include Bernard Matthews and Rover.

Back to top

References [52]CropLife America (2003) CropLife America Member Companies, 18/4/03, , viewed 22/7/03. [53]CropLife America (2001) CropLife America launched,, viewed 30/10/02.[78] CropLife America Biotechnology Committee,, viewed 30/10/02. [54]CropLife America Biotechnology Committee,, viewed 30/10/02. [55]RISE (2002) Rise Member Companies, , viewed 22/7/03. [56]EWG (2001) Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), , viewed 22/7/03. [57]RISE (2002) About RISE,, viewed 22/7/03. [58]GMA (2003) Member Companies, , viewed 22/7/03. [59]GMA (2003) Member Companies, , viewed 22/7/03. [60]GMA (2003) About GMA,,viewed 22/7/03. [61]EWG (2001) The Grocery Manufacturers Association, , viewed 22/7/03. [62]BIO (2003) BIO Members & Profiles by Name, , viewed 22/7/03. [63]BIO (2003) Join BIO, , viewed 22/7/03; BIO (2003) Advocacy, , viewed 22/7/03. [64]Members, , viewed 22/7/03. [65]The objectives of GIMA,, viewed 22/7/03. [66]List of PPA members,, viewed 22/7/03. [67]The facts not the myths about peat, , viewed 22/7/03. [68]APSNet (2003) The Scotts Company, , viewed 11/7/03. [69]Fisher College of Business (2001) Annual Report,, viewed 23/7/03. [70]CBR (2003) Sponsors and Web Links, , viewed 23/7/03. [71]CBR (2003) About the Center,, viewed 23/7/03. [72]Columbus State Community College: Online College Catalogue: Enro lment Services, , viewed 23/7/03; [University of Florida (2001)] Environmental Horticulture Program, , viewed 23/7/03. [73]University of Arkansas (2002) News Release: "Vendors Fore Education” Golf Tournament to Raise Retail Scholarship Funds, , viewed 23/7/03. [74]Reuters (2003) Donald, Arnold W. - Brief Biography,, viewed 15/7/03. [75]Scotts (2002) 2002 Summary Annual Report, available at:, viewed 10/7/03. [76] Ibid. [77]The Scotts Company – Give back to Grow: A Report To the Community,, viewed 5/9/03. [78]LSY: The Scotts Company 2000 Annual Report, , viewed 5/9/03. [79]Hughes, S. (ed.) (2002) Hollis UK Press & Public Relations Annual: 34th ed., 2002-2003, Hollis Publishing Ltd, Teddington, Middlesex. [80]Breen, P. (2000) MASS TIMES VELOCITY: With McCann-Erickson's help, Momentum lives up to its name, Promo, 1/6/00,, viewed 5/9/03; Brock, B. (2002) Advertisers Annual: 2002-2003, Hollis Publishing Ltd, Teddington, Middlesex