Chevron got punked yesterday when a wonderfully convincing satire of its new advertising campaign, “We agree,” was released to media outlets before the real one. Several environmental groups — I mean “people who care about climate change and clean energy” — including the Rainforest Action Network, Amazon Watch, and the Yes Men, took credit for the prank.
Chevron’s latest greenwashing campaign is nothing new, of course: oil companies have been trying to align themselves with the right side of social movements for ages, as this newspaper ad from March 1944 shows. Like Pabst Blue Ribbon and others before it, Chevron — then Standard Oil of California — jumped aboard the government’s Victory Garden bandwagon, urging Americans to grow their own “food for Freedom!” to support the war effort.
In a nice bit of synergy, Standard Chevron gas stations were also distributing the “Standard Garden Guide” (I’d love to see that) and selling fertilizer — most likely the synthetic nitrogen kind from the corporation’s own fossil fuels.