Excuse the crappy home made logo mashup, it’s purpose will quickly become clear. Earlier this week my attention was drawn to a website set up by Shell to encourage people to strapline some new arctic energy ads for them. There were some honest attempts by people to come up with something environmentally friendly and catchy, and most people had opted to send Shell up. Here are a few examples:
Turns out the whole thing was a scam set up by Greenpeace, and they’ve blogged about it here. In addition to the website Greenpeace had a fake Twitter account sending out legal threats from Shell. I suppose I should have guessed, and it did look plausible and I do feel a bit of a chump. I have Matt Alder to thank for pointing out what was actually going on and I’m grateful to him for stopping me (and perhaps others) from digging our own holes any deeper.
And the truth is, I feel more than a little stupid, I feel a little angry too. I’m not sure I appreciate being duped by an organisation that purports to tell it straight, at least that’s how I felt Greenpeace played it prior to this. On the campaign overall Matt observed, ‘An interesting approach and it certainly got spread around but I’m not sure that deceiving your supporters is such a good idea.’ Compared to what many have said on the Greenpeace blog, Matt is being very polite about this. It seems that Greenpeace has scored a spectacular own goal with one of the commenters from the Greenpeace blog, Mark Goodge saying ‘From now on, every opponent of Greenpeace only has to point at this [campaign] and say “Greenpeace are liars and fraudsters” and their case will be made.’
Faking it is a risky business, you’re likely to get caught and when you do, your trust is blown. Is it worth it?