Activists can have a sense of humour, too. Greenpeace Canada has been running a campaign inviting remixes of these really corny ads being run by CAPP, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The ads don't show big trucks and holes in the ground; they try to put a human face on the oil sands by having real people standing in forests and by lakes. They compare the oil sands to yogurt and peanut butter.
CAPP doesn't think Greenpeace is being funny; their flack is quoted in the Post:
"They've actually started making these attacks personal, against everyday, hard-working Canadians, and that is where, in our view, they cross the line into cyberbullying."
As if CAPP wasn't responsible for using these people as human shields.
There certainly aren't any scenes of Mordor in these ads; even when you are on the site it seems somehow benign. The Sierra Club of Canada protested to Advertising Standards Canada over this ad that implied that the oil sands were like yoghurt. (reference has been deleted). John Bennett, Director of the Sierra Club explains:
The intent clearly was to make the tarsands less toxic and less scary. That claim, he said, is borne out by the entire series of ads CAPP has broadcast about the oilsands. All the ads are based on first person accounts, all talking about how "'I want to protect my environment and how we're doing this new innovative thing that's making it all OK.'
"These things are designed to lessen the scary impact of the huge industrial development and toxic tailings, so in that context, when somebody says it's just yogurt, that's what they were implying.
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The industry group turned them down; John Bennett complains:
They went with the most literal interpretation," Mr. Bennett said. "I don't think there was a word in that 30-second commercial that wasn't carefully premeditated."
Notwithstanding their victory, CAPP has deleted the yoghurt reference.
See all the remixes and ad jams (and add your own) on Facebook here. See all the original ads at CAPP here.
More on the Tar Sands
Tar Sands : The Most Destructive Project on Earth : TreeHugger
Canadian Tar Sands Look Like Tolkein's Mordor Says UN Water Advisor
A Picture is Worth... The Alberta Tar Sands
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