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Splashy Chevron Ad Campaign Spoofed by Environmentalists

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

A mega-million dollar ad campaign by oil giant Chevron that critics say “greenwashes” the company’s record in Nigeria, Ecuador, and other oil-producing countries, has met its match.

Satirists and comics joined the campaign lead by environmentalists and human rights activists to produce a dead-on take-off of the oil company’s full-page ads seen recently in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

In one of the Chevron ads, two Black young people with wide smiles are posed alongside the message: “Oil Companies Should Support The Communities They’re a Part of.” The ad is signed “We Agree” by Chevron’s VP and the Director of The Global Fund to Fights AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

But a spoof press release managed to appear before the campaign got launched. Sent by the Yes Men and the Rainforest Action Network, the release came complete with fake quotes from Chevron executives and a phony Chevron website, pointing a finger at the company's environmental disasters.

Rainforest Action Network, calling the hoax a “satirical counter-campaign”, observed: “When it comes to oil spills, climate change and human rights abuses, we need real action from Chevron… Instead, the oil giant has prioritized a high-priced glossy advertising campaign that attempts to trick the American people into believing it is different than BP.”

Chevron is embroiled in a long-running, multi-billion-dollar lawsuit that contends the company is responsible for oil pollution in Ecuador, which Chevron denies and it continues to face claims in Nigeria that its oil spills there have tainted fish ponds in Delta State. Maria Ramos, Rainforest’s campaign director said: "Chevron's rhetoric and the public image that they put forward is very different from how they're actually operating."

Chevron won’t say how much it is spending on the new effort. The company has spent $92 million buying advertising time and space in the U.S. in the 12 months that ended in June.

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