Summary by Mel Barnard
Oil and Gas advertisements are becoming more and more untenable to the public. Literal weeks after Chevron released a commercial that boasted about their ‘ever-cleaner energy’, a refinery of theirs leaked 600 gallons of petroleum and water into the San Francisco Bay. Greenpeace USA and other environmental groups filed a complaint against Chevron with the Federal Trade Commission. According to the complaint, Chevron has consistently misrepresented its image to appear, “climate-friendly and racial justice-oriented, while its business operations overwhelmingly rely on climate-polluting fossil fuels, which disproportionately harm communities of color.”
As a result of these complaints and similar critiques across the industry, ad agencies are being forced to step away from fossil fuel clientele. This is from pressure from environmental advocates all over the world, from pushback against team sponsorships to putting climate warning labels on street ads. Democratic officials have filed lawsuits over the past 18 months in 6 different states to accuse Exxon of deceiving the public about climate change.
Oil and gas companies still wield a tremendous amount of power and the allure of a good paycheck keeps many advertisers on their side. However, there is hope that the moral pulse of environmental advocacy will move advertisers away from fossil fuel completely.