The Yes Men, Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch have unleashed a brilliant satirical strike against Chevron’s just-released $90M corporate ad campaign that carries the “We Agree” tagline.
The “real” ad/PR campaign seeks to soften the edge of the energy giant by promising to deliver on goodies like renewable energy and protecting the environment. It's Chevron as born-again BP, before the spill.
The activists dismiss the Chevron effort as little more than “greenwash.” Chevron has been fighting tooth and nail a $27B environmental lawsuit connected to its early 1990s acquisition of Texaco properties there.
A corporate release that announces the “real campaign” features a quote from Rhonda Zygocki, Chevron’s VP of policy, government and PA.
“We hear what people say about oil companies – that they should develop renewables, support communities, create jobs and protect the environment – and the fact is, we agree..."
"This campaign demonstrates our values as a company and the greater value we provide in meeting the world's demand for energy. There is a lot of common ground on energy issues if we take the time to find it."
Sounds like eyewash.
A more forceful Zyglocki is featured in the bogus press release, which carries the quote that Chevron is “making a clean break from the past by taking direct responsibility for our own actions.” Bravo. That's action.
The fake ads carry none of the fluff that the real ones do. One fake ad says “Oil companies should clean up their messes. The copy reads: “For decades, oil companies like ours have worked in disadvantaged areas, influencing policy in order to do there what we can’t do at home. It’s time this changed.”
Another bogus ad says Chevron is “ready to accept our financial and environmental responsibilities, and fund new technologies to avoid these mistakes in the future.” Fake Zygocki says: “We’re telling truths no one usually tells. We’re changing the way the whole industry operates.” That would be refreshing indeed and a blast of fresh PR.
A modest proposal for Chevron: how about taking the activist campaign to heart? Fake Zygocki puts it best: “We Agree’ conveys that Chevron is all for people. Just as “We’ is inclusive so Chevron is inclusive. It’s time we were on the side of people, no matter where those people are from.”
The Yes Men promise to have more fun with Chevron. Stay tuned.