We Agree' to Disagree

Campaign highlighting Chevron's efforts on energy issues undercut by spoofing

Published in CSP Daily News

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Chevron Corp. on Monday launched a new global advertising campaign called "We Agree." The campaign highlights the common ground Chevron shares with people around the world on key energy issues. It also describes the actions the company takes in producing energy responsibly and in supporting the communities where it operates.

But tipped off early to the new ads, critics of the oil giant posted an online spoof of the Chevron campaign the night before, reported The Washington Post.In each of the five full-page Chevron ads appearing in major newspapers, [image-nocss] headlines declare that oil companies have responsibilities, using phrasing such as: "Oil companies need to get real" and "Oil companies should support the communities they're a part of." Those declarations are followed by the assertion "We agree," as text highlights the social virtues of Chevron's business.

The TV ads can be found at YouTube.com/Chevron. All of the print and TV ads can also be found at www.chevron.com/weagree.

After learning of plans for Chevron's ad campaign weeks ago, three organizations drew up their own fake ads and posted them on a website Sunday night, said the report. Like the Chevron ads, the spoofs use colorful photographs of people and play on Chevron's declarations with their own large headlines, such as "oil companies should stop endangering life." ( Click here to view the spoof.)

The imitations are the handiwork of the Yes Men, who have played pranks mocking major corporations in the past, the report said. The Yes Men group says on its website that "our targets are leaders and big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else." Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network also took part in the lampooning, said the Post.

"We hear what people say about oil companies--that they should develop renewables, support communities, create jobs and protect the environment--and the fact is, we agree," Rhonda Zygocki, vice president of policy, government and public affairs at Chevron, said in the company's press statement announcing the initiative. "This campaign demonstrates our values as a company and the greater value we provide in meeting the world's demand for energy. There is a lot of common ground on energy issues if we take the time to find it."

The campaign includes a series of print ads and 30-second TV spots that focus on five main themes: Growth and jobs: Demonstrating Chevron's strong reinvestment of profits into energy development, local economies and job creation. Renewable energy: Describing Chevron's leadership in the development of renewable energy and the promotion of energy efficiency. Technology: Showcasing the advanced technologies Chevron is investing in to find new energy and work cleaner, smarter and safer. Small business: Highlighting Chevron's support of small businesses and supply chains around the world. Community development: Emphasizing the partnerships and programs Chevron is involved in to support health, education and socioeconomic development in the communities where it operates. The ads feature declarative statements about the oil industry that are designed to illustrate the mutual agreement between Chevron and its partners. They also describe the actions Chevron is taking to advance these important issues. The statements are accompanied by the text "We Agree" and signatures from both a Chevron employee and, in most instances, a Chevron partner.

Some of the partners include The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria, which works with Chevron to address global health issues; Teach For America, which partners with Chevron to provide innovative solutions to education challenges; and Weyerhaeuser Co., which works with Chevron in a joint venture to develop advanced biofuels from nonfood sources. The TV spots include a Chevron employee and a citizen expressing their opinions about the industry. As the advertisement unfolds, their perspectives converge in agreement, reinforcing the "We Agree" message.San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies. It explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and other energy products; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future, including biofuels.