Greenwash Watch: Shell Told To Pull Greenwashing Ad

We wondered about the magazine ad we saw with happy flowers coming out of smokestacks and the message "Don't throw anything away, there is no away" in 70's happy hippy font over the top. We were reminded of Collin's little vase from the other day, a strange juxtaposition. The copy in the ad states that Shell recycles its emissions of carbon dioxide, which contribute to global warming, by piping them into greenhouses. It also states that its emissions of sulfur dioxide, another pollutant, are used to make concrete.

Dutch authorities thought so too: "What they said in the advertisement was too strong," said Simone Wesseling, a spokeswoman for the Dutch Advertising Code Authority. "Shell suggests that all of these gases are recycled and that is not the case, so our committee found a misleading environmental claim."

Shell defends it as being allegorical, saying "the image of flowers was acceptable because readers would clearly identify it as imaginary." Their website points to measures taken at the Geelong Refinery in Australia, more information here.

We think it should have been pulled for breaching the Birkenstock/Poncho rule of tired hippie graphic design, but will settle for exaggeration and greenwashing. ::IHT via ::Desmogblog

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