An oil company’s ‘sickening’ PR event has massively backfired

Shell Logo

Major oil company Shell is hosting a PR event – Make the Future Live – in the London Olympic Park from 5-8 July. Shell describes it as a “four-day festival exploring solutions to the energy challenge”. Among other activities, Make the Future Live features an “eco-marathon” – a competition in which student engineers make and race energy efficient cars.

But Shell’s PR effort has massively backfired.

Hypocrisy and greenwashing

Despite the talk of ‘energy challenges’ and ‘eco-marathons’, people have accused Shell of hypocrisy and greenwashing. Greenwashing refers to organisations presenting an environmentally friendly image of themselves that isn’t reflected in their actions. In Shell’s case, evidence shows that less than 6% of its investments are in new energy sources.

As reported by Newham Recorder, campaign group Fossil Free Newham claims the Make the Future Live event is designed to “convince young people that the oil industry is a desirable employer”. An activist with Fossil Free London spoke to the Newham Recorder about the event:

This whole Make the Future campaign is sickeningly cynical and transparent. When we heard about the event happening in the Olympic Park we were furious at Shell’s blatant hypocrisy…

Since the event kicked off, campaigners have been taking their message to Twitter and the event itself. The campaign group Divest London staged a protest and dispensed leaflets outside the event on 6 July:

Read on...

People have been posting these allegations on Twitter too:

More to come

On 8 July, campaigners have planned their biggest action yet.

They’re organising a dodge ball game as a campaign stunt outside the event. One team will be made up of people dressed like Shell executives. The organisers are encouraging people to “come with an evil grin and cackle” and to dress in suits. Against them will be “the people“, representing “the smaller but stronger environmental and social justice groups coming together to fight Shell’s destruction and greenwash”.

A coalition of campaign groups including Platform and Art Not Oil are organising the stunt.

People are taking action against Shell’s PR event. And they’re using creative ways to get their message across and expose the company. With more and more people hearing that message, it looks like its PR campaigns could be backfiring.

Get involved!

Join campaigners at the dodge ball game outside Make the Future.

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via Ed Dunens – Flickr

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed