The elaborate hoax that the Yes Men created – a faux ad campaign and official looking website for a supposed Shell Arctic Drilling campaign – fooled this blogger…and thousands of others. We congratulate the Yes Men for their energy and creativity in coming up with a public relations approach that seemed all too plausible. But Shell’s response may be just as stupid as if the campaign was real.
The campaign was created by Greenpeace and the Yes Men.
According to Wikipedia, The Yes Men operate under the mission statement of telling the truth and exposing lies. They create and maintain fake websites similar to ones they intend to spoof, which have led to numerous interview, conference, and TV talk show invitations. They espouse the belief that corporations and governmental organizations often act in dehumanizing ways toward the public.
In this highly provocative and realistic campaign they created against Shell, they certainly got a lot of attention to the issue of oil drilling in the fragile Arctic environment. One of our favorite “ads” follows:
However, what may be even more perplexing than the hoax was the lack of any detectable response from the victim – Shell.
Are any of their PR wags on-line? Are they tone-deaf to the internet? Silence is golden? Any brand under such devious assault needs a plan to respond. From now to years to come, the assets created by this Yes Men hoax will be circulating with apparently a “mums the word” response from Shell. I stand behind the original post: a most stupid brand is Shell.