October 28, 2010
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The Yes Men Reveals How Chevron Campaign Leaked

Artist Contacted by Agency McGarryBowen Turned Over Files

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Last week, we brought you news that Chevron's breaking ad campaign and PR push had been hijacked by a group called The Yes Men, working in collaboration with Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch. Now The Yes Men is revealing how it got its hands on the ad campaign to begin with.

According to a release sent out by The Yes Men, Amazon Watch was tipped off over a month ago "when ecologist blogger Lauren Selman received a casting call to appear in one of Chevron's new split-screen television ads. Selman used the information she gathered to help Amazon Watch, the Rainforest Action Network, and the Yes Men pre-empt Chevron's insulting PR campaign." Selman has a detailed blog post about the casting call over at The Huffington Post.

The other leak? That one came via an artist employed by Chevron's agency, McGarryBowen, said The Yes Men. Reportedly, street artist César Maxit was asked to work on the posters for the new ad campaign. "Instead, Maxit sent the Chevron files to the Rainforest Action Network and helped build their campaign."

Want to see a video of how that went down? Rainforest Action Network and Maxit are happy to oblige:

Interesting stuff. We wonder if any contracts were violated during this sting operation. No doubt, some will claim the ends justify the means -- someone certainly thought so when a fake Ad Age story was set up last week -- but something tells me lawyers might not see it that way.

Representative from Chevron and McGarryBowen did not respond to requests for comment.

1 Comment
Subscribe to comments on: The Yes Men Reveals How Chevron Campaign Leaked
  By jeffgreenhouse | Philadelphia, PA October 28, 2010 12:41:04 am:
Wow. This really sets the stage for a dramatic legal showdown. You've probably got a blend of breach of contract issues, trademark issues, possibly some flavor of libel or fraud or misrepresentation if executives names and signatures were placed with statements different from those they agreed with. On the other side, I'm sure freedom of speech and the right to protest will get tossed in as well.

So, do the lawyers jump in and start a firestorm of legal and public relations activity, or does Chevron try to ignore the whole situation? Place your bets!

- Jeff Greenhouse
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