Expensive activist hoax is the new PR tactic. Greenpeace employed it against Shell and look what has happened

This is not breaking news, but it still raises so many questions. Anglo-Dutch company, Shell, will no longer drill for oil into the Alaskan Arctic.

Well played, Greenpeace.

There was reportedly huge hydrocarbon prospect in the far north region, but Shell had not accounted for Greenpeace and its brethren. Discarded for its motivated campaigns by a few conscious nations, like India, the global NGO pounced on Shell immediately after it announced its plans to explore for oil in the Chukchi Sea.

On surface, the cause may seem environment-friendly, but on closer examination, it appears there is another side to it. Ideally, the pristine environment of the Arctic must remain untouched. Material gain ought not to supersede life-source. But that is not my bone of contention with Greenpeace.

Shell recently announced its decision to abandon further exploration not just because NGOs have tunnel vision, but also because the oil findings were below expectations. Be that as it may, the villainous tactics employed in the process of stalling Shell’s far-north move, through devious Public Relations ploy, endangers the faith people have reposed in their kind. Road-blocking ‘growth’ has been a part of Greenpeace’s DNA for too long now.

The Hoax!

Daniel Hixon has already exposed, via Shutterstock/Salon, how Greenpeace organized a fake Shell party meant to celebrate its new venture into Arctic drilling. It was also meant to embarrass the oil giant.

In the party held at Seattle’s Space Needle, an elderly man is serving a drink from a model oil rig, which was erected next to an assortment of stuffed polar bears and a miniature iceberg bearing the Shell logo. Instead of a drink, brown liquid comes splashing out, soaking a woman who was in line of the jetting sticky liquid.

The flow is unstoppable, but some attempted to stall the flow by stuffing polar bears into the tap. To add drama, they portrayed Shell as having the tendency to keep everything under the wraps – the Greenpeace actors threatened the man who was recording the event and chased him out of the room. He must have run off giggling at the façade.

It was a PR that Shell didn’t want. Greenpeace manipulated the media by creating fake scandal. They told a lie to gain more media coverage. The Yes Men, an activist prank group, and Greenpeace paid to produce the video to spread misinformation. To make it look even more real, the parties involved actually set out fake legal messages on behalf of Shell, threatening bloggers who reported on the story.

This is sleaze. It strikes sleazier still because the producers of this reputation-damaging ploy happened to be the brainchild of NGOs – people who claim to possess a righteous mindset.

They tried very hard to make the video viral and achieved enormous results. The first day of the post brought in 700,000 page views.

Once it became clear that it was all a sophisticated hoax to kill Shell, Seattle Post Intelligencer wrote in its second post on the story, “It’s confirmed that [the video] is an elaborate — make that extremely elaborate – hoax. And, yes, we were fooled. Shame, shame on us.”

Getting media coverage is important to organizations like Greenpeace and they will do whatever it takes to be there. They will lie if they have to, and scandalize, too. Let us assume that Shell is wicked and immoral, how is Greenpeace any different? They consciously went about executing a well-calculated plot to give Shell a bad name like they didn’t have enough of it already.

No one wants to pay attention to voices that indulge in cheating and fraud. If Greenpeace wants to salvage the last bit of dignity that might be left in it, they should start by not spreading lies.

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