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Chevron's Ads = Greenwashing | Oil Watchdog

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Chevron's Ads = Greenwashing

CONTACT:By

Fri, Sep 28, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    NEWS RELEASE
    September 28, 2007

    CONTACT: Judy Dugan, 310-392-0522, x305, or cell: 213-280-0175

    Chevron’s $15 Million Ads, $15 Billion Stock Buyback Are P.R. Greenwashing, Stockholder Appeasement, Says Watchdog Group;

    Oil Giant Touts Necessity of Oil for "Foreseeable Future," Yet Would Cut Back Refinery Expansion

    Santa Monica, CA — Chevron today announced a gauzy, Hollywood-slick
    $15-million ad campaign to improve its public image, a day after
    announcing a $15-billion buyback of its own stock. The investments are
    two poles of a corporate strategy to keep oil-related profits high
    while rejecting real commitment to a renewable energy future, said the
    Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights and its OilWatchdog.org
    project.

    The ad campaign launches Sunday with a warm and fuzzy
    2.5-minute ad on the CBS "60 Minutes" show, declaring that "for the
    foreseeable future, our lives demand oil."

    "This ad gives short shrift to renewable fuels and belies
    previous Chevron statements that the development of ethanol is an
    immediate reason not to invest in its current oil refineries," said
    Judy Dugan, research director of OilWatchdog.org. "Chevron’s ads make
    it appear vaguely committed to clean energy, while its corporate
    executives use biofuels as an excuse to curb refinery capacity. The
    company is also buying back $15 billion of its own stock this year,
    which boosts Chevron’s stock value but does nothing to improve its
    current business or create a renewable future."

    In an interview with the Associated Press in April, Peter J.
    Robertson, Chevron’s vice chairman, said in response to a question
    about possible new U.S. refineries, "Why would I invest in a refinery
    when you’re trying to make 20 percent of the gasoline supply ethanol?"
    Robertson was referring to a Bush administration plan to encourage an
    increase in the use of ethanol in the fuel supply to that level by
    2020.

    Read the AP interview.

    See the Chevron ad in link within Advertising Age story.

    Much of the new Chevron ad is quick-cut shots of smiling people
    and happy families apparently employed by Chevron. It is obviously
    intended to portray Chevron as a happy member of the world family, said
    FTCR, rather than a defendant in multi-billion-dollar pollution
    lawsuits brought by peasants in Ecuador and by Nigerians over alleged
    human-rights violations, said the nonpartisan, nonprofit FTCR.

    Read background on the lawsuits.

    The new ads are a reversal from the most recent Chevron
    campaign, called "Real Issues," which featured cluttered executive
    desktops filled with sticky notes opaquely referring to oil company
    demands for freedom from regulation.

    See ad and analysis.

    "The ‘Real Issues’ ads were all too obviously aimed at
    intimidating any effort by lawmakers to rein in Chevron¿s federal
    corporate welfare payments or its gouging of consumers," said Dugan.
    "Chevron and the rest of Big Oil, having succeeded in gutting the
    federal energy bill of anything that might curb its profiteering, now
    aims to persuade consumers that it is a friendly corporate citizen.
    With gasoline hitting $3.00 again and no renewable alternatives at
    neighborhood Chevron pumps, motorists will have a hard time swallowing
    that."

    Chevron’s return to a public-image campaign is a more
    expensively produced rehash of an older campaign titled "People Do,"
    said FTCR.

    "That campaign also focused on friendly, helpful Chevron
    employees and their commitment to community and environment," said
    Dugan. "The campaign lasted for 20 years and was the very definition of
    greenwashing."

    See more on the "People Do" campaign and on corporate greenwashing.

    – 30 –

    For more background and information see our websites at: www.OilWatchdog.org and www.ConsumerWatchdog.org.

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