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WWF advert attacks Shell’s claims 

Wednesday August 13 2008 07:06 BST 

By Mark Sweney 

Watch WWF’s anti-Shell ad:

The World Wildlife Fund UK has launched an ad campaign attacking Shell’s environmental claims after winning a battle to get a press ad by the fuel giant banned as “greenwash”.

WWF’s ad campaign will launch on giant digital screens at Waterloo station in London today trumpeting its victory by stating that “Shell can’t hide the environmental impact of their oil sand projects”.

The 20-second WWF ad accuses Shell of “greenwash” over a press ad in the Financial Times earlier this year suggesting the company’s Canadian oil sand extraction operation was sustainable.

In the Waterloo ad, WWF, which interspersed the copy with images of stripped mining landscape in Canada, claims that the Shell operation releases three times more greenhouse gases than conventional oil production. The Waterloo ad was created by the agency Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw.

WWF lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority about a national press ad that Shell launched in the FT in February.

The ad opens with the headline “We invest today’s profits in tomorrow’s solutions”.

In the ad, Shell talks of the need to invest in technology to “continue to secure a profitable and sustainable future”.

Shell also said that in the race to find more energy to fuel global demand there was a need to “find new ways of managing carbon emissions to limit climate change”.

The FT ad gave examples included Shell building the biggest refinery in the US, “exploring a new generation of bio fuels”, and unlocking “the potential of the vast Canadian oil sands deposit”.

WWF complained to the ASA that Shell’s Canadian oil sand operation and building the biggest US refinery – actually an expanded redevelopment of an existing facility at Port Arthur in Texas – does not help provide a sustainable future or sustainable energy production.

Shell argued that to meet vast energy requirements it had to look beyond conventional sources of oil and gas, “but also the development of vast resources of unconventional oil and gas, such as oil sands”.

The ASA said that the use of the word “sustainable” throughout the ad was defined as “primarily in environmental terms”.

Because Shell had not provided evidence that it was “effectively” managing carbon emissions from its oil sands projects “in order to limit climate change”, the ASA deemed that the ad was misleading.

The ASA came to the same conclusion about Shell’s claims about the redevelopment of the Port Arthur oil refinery and said it should not be shown again in its current form.







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