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The Yes Men strike

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chevronaddBIG.jpgThe Yes Men, a group of activists who target corporations with their modern-day pranks, hijacked an ad campaign from Chevron on Monday.

Here's the ad campaign, and here's Yes Men's version, released hours before Chevron's. A few media outlets fell for the hoax -- including me. I fell for a subsequent press release, in which I quoted Chevron's general counsel, only it was a made-up (by the Yes Men), taking-umbrage quote that said:

“Chevron does not take this attack lightly,” said Hewitt Pate, general counsel for Chevron. “We invest extremely heavily in our campaigns, and we take them extremely seriously. Such actions can never be tolerated.” According to a press release, while the company won't release how much their "We Agree" campaign costs, Chevron "routinely spends $90 million per year on U.S. advertising alone."

The preceding (thanks, Bubba from Greenwich), was from a fake press release. I've been punked. I bow in the general direction of The Yes Men and now I will head for the corner to sit and contemplate my role as a member of America's press.

Meanwhile, we return to your regularly-scheduled blog post:

“Chevron's super-expensive fake street art is a cynical attempt to gloss over the human rights abuses and environmental degradation that is the legacy of Chevron's operations in Ecuador, Nigeria, Burma and throughout the world,” said Ginger Cassady, of Rainforest Action Network. “They must think we're stupid.”

“Yesterday's spoof was a comedy of errors, but what's happening in Ecuador is no joke,” said Mitch Anderson, a campaigner at Amazon Watch. “While Chevron spends tens of millions every year to greenwash their image and fool the media, Ecuadorians continue to die from their toxic legacy."

“They say we're 'interrupting the dialogue,'” said Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men. “What dialogue? Chevron's ad campaign is an insulting, confusing monologue - with many tens of millions of dollars behind it.”

Here's more on Chevron's role in Ecuador


A resounding "YES" to the Yes Men!! We need many, many more "Yes Men" & Yes Women! Good to read something encouraging.

We should have more of this pranksterism to counteract the distortions of truth displayed by private industry and, well, every group that wants to further their rightist causes. And that means everyone.

I remembered all the PR ads displayed by BP for years about how respectful they were to the environment. Of course I never fell for the message since they were in need to get people to forget their history. I have never seen one of these early PRs played to juxtapose next to the disaster of the gulf spill.

Awesome! And how stupid of Chevron to let their legal people comment publicly, thus expanding story coverage and giving their detractors even more time in the spotlight. Always leave the PR to the professionals.

You've been punked yourself. You're using a faux quote from a faux press release created for Chevron by the Yes Men. Hewitt Pate didn't say that.

@Bubba: This is not Chevron's official press release page?

@Susan, it looks like this is the official website for Chevron:

@Sharon: And here I thought I was being all slick by waiting a day to post this. I suppose I'm not as smart as I'd hoped. Nertz.

@Susan: It's pathetically easy to fake the homepage of just about any website. The giveaway was that when I clicked on any other link on the main menu, it stayed on that same page.

@Sharon: Not all of the links are broken. I tried the same thing before I loaded it up in the first place. I'm not making excuses, but damn. "About Chevron," "Careers," "Product & Services," "Energy Sources," and "Global Issues" work on my computer, as do "Home" and "Human Energy Sources." I probably hit the others at the end of the chic-let links

Sharon for IT Czar!

@Susan: Well, now you've gone and exposed the fact that I did not try all the links, but only the first few. They're not all broken--some of them have been cloned, some not. What I finally clicked on was the logo, which the spoofers forgot to alter. That took me to the real corporate website.

@Sharon: The fact of the matter remains: I've been punked, and I'm still in the corner over it.

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