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How Shell Made It Big on Facebook: a gushing farce

By John Donovan

The Wall Street Journal has today published an article by Ben Rooney under the headline:

How Shell Made It Big on Facebook

It can fairly be described as a gushing piece with Mr Rooney expressing his admiration for Shell’s “impressive achievement” in managing to “clock up just shy of one million Facebook fans in under two months?”

The article contains glaring howlers. It says that globally Shell has 50,000 employees, when it actually has around 100,000. It claims there is no attempt by Shell to  hide controversial topics, “such as Antarctica oil exploration,” when in fact the controversy is about Shell’s plans to commence drilling in the Arctic. 

A video clip contains an equally gushing interview with Dr Herbert Heitmann, Chief of External Communications for Shell. Rooney describes the Shell Facebook presence as an “extraordinary success.”

What neither person seems to have grasped is that the majority of posted comments on Shell’s Facebook page are all extremely negative about Shell.

Dr Heitmann, the current spin master at Shell, appears to be completely out of touch with reality.

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