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Reuters: Royal Dutch/Shell told to stop using environment ads

Thu Jul 5, 2007 5:17 PM BST

AMSTERDAM, July 5 (Reuters) – A Dutch advertising watchdog on Thursday banned a Royal Dutch Shell Plc poster ad about its pro-environment activities, Friends of the Earth Netherlands said.

The environmental group had complained about an ad designed to show how waste carbon dioxide grew flowers and depicting a “refinery emitting flowers from its chimneys instead of smoke.”

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant confirmed it had received notice from the Dutch Advertising Authority, although it had only taken issue with a some parts of the poster and not the whole ad.

“We don’t think their claims were justified,” said a spokesman for Shell, adding that the advertisements were no longer in circulation.

The environment group argued that only a tiny proportion of Shell’s total carbon dioxide emissions is piped into greenhouses.

“For instance, in Nigeria, gas flaring by Shell causes 60 times more greenhouse gas emissions than the carbon dioxide that is reused by Dutch farmers to grow flowers,” Anne van Schaik, a campaign leader at Friends of the Earth, said in a statement.

The group also complained about another Shell advertisement, in which Shell said it uses its waste sulphur to make concrete, even though much of it was used for fuel in ships and released into the air as sulphur dioxide.

The advertisement appeared in several countries in Western Europe, Friends of the Earth said. A case is pending in Britain, and in Belgium the group’s claims were rejected, the group said.

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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